If Angels Fall

If Angels Fall

Finalist, Best First Novel 2001, Arthur Ellis Awards

Tom Reed is a crime reporter with The San Francisco Star, whose superb journalistic skills earned him a Pulitzer nomination.

But years later Reed’s life is coming apart. His editor wants him fired. His wife has left him to wrestle with his demons.

Alone, Reed is tormented by the fear he may have caused the suicide of an innocent man suspected of murdering two-year-old Tanita Marie Donner.

Reed’s friend on the case, legendary San Francisco Homicide Inspector Walt Sydowski, who has one of California’s highest clearance rates. He is also a lonely widower haunted by the fact he cannot solve Tanita’s heartbreaking death.

Both men grapple with the past while they race the clock to learn the truth behind a new string of child abductions that has anguished the Bay Area.

La Dérive des anges

Also Available in French

La Dérive des anges

Plus d'informations pour l'édition française



Danny saw the girl again.

As the subway train eased out of the Coliseum station Danny looked up, captivated by her frozen smile, her vacant stare, and the fact she never spoke.


She was dead.

Her throat had been cut and her body stuffed into a plastic garbage bag hidden in Golden Gate Park.

She was two years old and her name was Tanita Marie Donner. Two eleven year old girls from Lincoln Junior High found her during a science class field trip.

“She looked like a little naked doll,” Natalie Jackson, one of the girls, told a San Francisco TV station.

That was a year ago. The nightmares were now less frequent for the school girls. For most San Franciscans, Tanita’s murder was fading from memory although her face still stared from bus shelters, store windows, bumper stickers and daycares. An image as familiar to the Bay Area as the Golden Gate or the Transamerica pyramid. For a time, it embodied San Francisco’s anguish. A blurred, grainy blow-up of a color snapshot, Tanita timidly showing her tiny milk-white teeth as mommy coaxed a smile. Two pink butterfly hair pins held back her brown hair. She was wearing her a cotton pastel dress with lace trim, and crushing CoCo, her white teddy bear, to her chest. Her dark eyes shining, like falling stars.

REWARD, screamed in bold, black letters above her head. Below, were details of when and where Tanita was last seen alive. Twenty-five thousand dollars was offered for information leading to an arrest in her murder. No takers.

Tanita Marie Donner’s killer was still out there.

Copyright© 2017 Rick Mofina. All Rights Reserved.