By COLE AVERY
Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS
No man has brought more murder and crime to South Padre Island than David Harry, and it looks like he’s at it again.
Harry released his third mystery thriller last week. The book, “The Padre Paranoia,” is the third in a series that follows characters Jimmy Redstone and Angella Martinez around the Island as they attempt to solve a crime.
In “Paranoia,” a military surveillance plane captures a brutal beach murder. Then a U.S. senator dies just before casting a crucial military vote. The characters search for answers and hope that they come.
“A storm’s coming. Something bad’s happening, and they’ve got nothing there. It’s paranoia,” Harry said.
Though this is the third book featuring Redstone, Harry said it can completely stand alone from the first two books, “The Padre Puzzle” and “The Padre Predator.”
One thing that does remain consistent is the actual business names and locations from the Island Harry uses in his books. On the third page, Harry lists all of the places the characters visit so that his readers can trace the heroes’ footsteps.
“It turns out people were buying the first book to see where to go. They’d use the book as a tour guide of where to go on the Island,” Harry said. “People want to go everywhere that Jimmy and Angela went.”
Even the cover for his book is locally grown. Harry chose a photo of an empty beach on the northern end of the Island at sunset. The emptiness and deep purples of the sky give an ominous feel that plays perfectly into the paranoia theme, Harry said. The cover photo was captured by the Press’ own publisher, Ray Quiroga.
Harry has been writing for years at night, moonlighting from his day job as a patent attorney in Dallas. In 2009, he published “Puzzle,” which was his first published book and first mystery.
“I just decided I was going to write a mystery novel set on Padre Island. Where do you start? A dead man on the beach,” Harry said.
Harry said most of what goes into his books come from imagination. He takes possible situations and follows them to their extreme ends. He also draws from things he sees while just living his life.
“I read. I listen. I extrapolate,” Harry said. It comes from imagination. It comes from me. It’s an extrapolation of what could happen.”
Harry has been visiting the Island for 12 years. In June he retired from practicing law and moved to SPI permanently where he will continue writing. He’s already started on his fourth Redstone book.
He loves the Island so much he even issued a disclaimer at the beginning of his first mystery novel telling people not to think the Island was ripe with drug violence and murder. He wrote that he didn’t want to spoil the “image of a tranquil island in the sun.”
“I like the island. I love the people of the Valley. The people in this valley are so friendly and so helpful,” Harry said.
Harry’s books can be purchased at Paragraph’s Bookstore on South Padre Island. E-versions are available or will soon be available for popular e-readers.
To read this story in print, pick up a copy of the July 16 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.