The Bitter Past: A Mystery (Porter Beck #1) (Hardcover)

The Bitter Past: A Mystery (Porter Beck #1) By Bruce Borgos Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 1 in the Porter Beck series.


In the tradition of Craig Johnson and C. J. Box, Bruce Borgos's The Bitter Past begins a compelling series set in the high desert of Nevada featuring Sheriff Porter Beck…

Porter Beck is the sheriff in the high desert of Nevada, north of Las Vegas. Born and raised there, he left to join the Army, where he worked in Intelligence, deep in the shadows in far off places. Now he's back home, doing the same lawman's job his father once did, before his father started to develop dementia. All is relatively quiet in this corner of the world, until an old, retired FBI agent is found killed. He was brutally tortured before he was killed and clues at the scene point to a mystery dating back to the early days of the nuclear age. If that wasn't strange enough, a current FBI agent shows up to help Beck's investigation.

In a case that unfolds in the past (the 1950s) and the present, it seems that a Russian spy infiltrated the nuclear testing site and now someone is looking for that long-ago, all-but forgotten person, who holds the key to what happened then and to the deadly goings on now.

About the Author

BRUCE BORGOS lives and writes from the Nevada desert where he works hard every day to prove his high school guidance counselor had good instincts when he said “You’ll never be an astronaut.” He has a degree in political science which mostly served to dissuade him from a career in law while at the same time tormenting his wife with endless questions about how telephones work. When not writing, you can usually find him at the local wine store. He is the author of The Bitter Past.

Praise For…

"Impressive." —The New York Times

"Borgos’ debut may be called The Bitter Past, but with strong plotting, explorations of little-known history and a complicated protagonist, this series’ future seems especially sweet." —LA Times

“Compelling…This riveting debut has traces of Craig Johnson’s novels with the personal nuclear fallout in Betty Webb’s Desert Wind.” —Library Journal (starred)

"A clever, spy-flavored mystery...intelligent storytelling and well-drawn characters." —Publisher's Weekly

"A thrilling and assured debut, Bruce Borgos’ The Bitter Past is at once a high stakes tale of high treason in the high desert and an unflinching examination of the lasting scars that even the coldest of wars can leave behind."—Chris Holm, Anthony Award winning author of The Killing Kind and Child Zero

"A crisp jolt of cask-strength, 100-proof writing." —Craig Johnson

"Vividly set in Nevada's high desert, The Bitter Past is an emotional story about the steep cost of doing the right thing. Bruce Borgos tells a gripping tale with vivid characters at a breakneck pace - I can't wait to see what Porter Beck does next!" —Nick Petrie, author of The Runaway

“Bruce Borgos’ new mystery checks all the boxes: A stunning opening chapter, fascinating characters, plenty of action, intriguing story lines, wonderful humor to offset the tension, and even a hint of romance. I was sorry to see it end.” —Anne Hillerman, author of the Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito mysteries

"Enthralling." —The Buzz Magazines

The Bitter Past is a propulsive thriller set in the barren, haunted Nevada desert, anchored by damaged characters desperate to protect the people they love from violence they thought they’d outrun. Throw in the poisonous shadow cast by America’s 1950s nuclear testing program, Cold War grudges simmering for half a century, and the nail-biting tension of a race against time, and you’ve got rural noir at its best." —Heather Young, author of The Distant Dead

"Fans of action thrillers will love this one." —Red Carpet Crash

"Rattle[s] the nerves and shock[s] the brain." —The Free Lance-Star

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250848079
ISBN-10: 1250848075
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: July 18th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: Porter Beck