What Does Author C. L. Swinney Do For Fun?

C.L. Swinney Ugly MugC. L. Swinney is a narcotics investigator currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has investigated hundreds of narcotics, homicide, gang, and Mexico cartel cases along the west coast of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. C. L. Swinney has been invited to speak at law enforcement conferences throughout the United States and is recognized as an expert in narcotics, homicides, and cell phone forensics.  He developed the concept for the first book in his Bill Dix series, Gray Ghost, while fly fishing in the Bahamas. His passion for the outdoors and law enforcement is intertwined throughout his writing. The world of narcotics is dark and mysterious. C. L. Swinney pulls the reader immediately into this fascinating world from the first word in his debut novel and doesn’t let you out until you finish the book. 

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Oh man, just writing the title for this piece transplanted me to a salt water flat, cautiously stalking bonefish with a fly rod in my hand.  At the end of my fly line is an epoxy-back shrimp I hand-tied.  My Bohemian guide is pointing to the beautiful blue Atlantic sea water as a subtle ripple is cast along the transition from the flat to a channel.  Making the riffle is a pod of cruising bonefish.  My heart is pounding and I’m holding my breath.  Without notice, they stop and pop their tails out of the water.

“Now” my guide whispers.

I grin as I know the timid fish are feeding and a well placed fly may just get inhaled.

One, two, three, on the third back cast I double-haul my fly line and abruptly stop the rod tip.  The fly line wedge cuts through the air and my fly lands a few feet from the feeding fish.

“Good, now strip” my guide whispers again.

My trembling fingers pull the fly line in trying to make the shrimp fly dance underwater.  I think like the fleeing shrimp.  Don’t eat me Mr. Bonefish as I scamper to get away.

A Gray Ghost moves toward my fly and I see a flash, feel a tug, and my fly line zips off the water so fast it leaves tiny bubbles and sings.  The bonefish darts for freedom and I’m still holding my breath.

“Set da’ hook man!” my guide is no longer whispering.

I pull with my rod and hand simultaneously and set the barbless hook in the fish’s jaw.  The fish rockets of the flat and pulls all the fly line and is now into my reel backing.  Uh oh.

I gain my composure and fight the magnificent Gray Ghost until I can bring the fish to my palm.  A quick photo is snapped, the fish is resuscitated, and I release it back to swim with the fishes.  I high-five my guide and wade in the sea grass covered flat watching Lemon Sharks chase mullet.

What do I do for fun?  You thought it was fly fishing, but what I really do for fun is writing so you can be there too.


Gray Ghost Blurb:

While on a fly fishing vacation to Andros Island in the Bahamas, narcotics detectives Dix and Peterson discover their fishing guides were killed when a Gray Ghostsudden blast of gunfire fractured their speedboat, Gray Ghost. Local gossip has it that Gray Ghost went to the ocean floor with a hundred million dollars worth of cocaine in the hull. Dix and Peterson are drawn into helping their island friends, and chase down leads in Miami as well as the Bahamas until they identify the diabolical plot of the man known only as The Caller…and then the trouble really starts.

“When two Miami narcotic officers take a fishing trip to the Bahamas, they can’t leave the drug world behind…Deftly told by the author, detective and avid fly fisher Chris Swinney, this book will hook any reader of mystery fiction.” —Sunny Frazier, author of the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries

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