Checking Out (Paperback)

by Clair M. Poulson


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Product Description

Keene Tempest was born to be a cop. After years spent preparing for a career in law enforcement, he’s finally working his dream job with the LAPD, and his criminal justice degree is almost within reach. The last thing he wants to do is return to his sleepy Wyoming hometown to run the family hotel after the death of his mother. But at the insistence of his older siblings that he honor his late mother’s wishes, what choice does he have? When Keene arrives at the Tempest Hotel, it quickly becomes clear that all is not as it seems. He’s shocked to learn that his mother’s death was anything but natural—foul play was almost certainly involved. As he becomes embroiled in the investigation—and in his budding relationship with lovely local law enforcement Officer Chaille Donovan—the body count rises: another murder victim is discovered, and there is no doubt that this bizarre string of crimes is somehow tied to the hotel—and to him. Against a chilling backdrop of family feuds, shootings, and armed robbery, Keene must draw upon his years of training to unearth a killer. And in a town this small, no one is above suspicion

About the Author

Clair M. Poulson retired after twenty years in law enforcement. During his career he served in the U.S. Military Police Corps, the Utah Highway Patrol, and the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Department, where he was first a deputy and the the county sheriff. He currently serves as a justice court judge for Duchesne County, a position he has held for nineteen years. His nearly forty-year career working in the criminal justice system has provided a wealth of material from which he draws in writing his books.

Clair has served on numerous boards and committees over the years. Among them are the Utah Judicial Council, and FBI advisory board, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, the Utah Justice Court Board of Directors, and the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

Other interests include activity in the LDS Church, assisting his oldest son in operating their grocery store, ranching with his oldest son and other family members, and raising registered Missouri Fox Trotter horses.

Clair and his wife, Ruth, live in Duchesne and are the parents of five married children. They have twenty-two grandchildren.


The shot took out the windshield of the police car I was riding in. Glass sprayed both me and Sergeant Tom Brolin.

“Are you okay, Keene?” he shouted as he steered the car to the side of the street.

“Yeah, are you?” I asked as I gathered myself from where I had almost gone clear to the floorboard. Trying to keep from panicking, I looked over at him. There was blood pouring from his right shoulder. I don’t know if he’d even felt it, but it was clearly a bullet wound. “You’re hit,” I said as calmly as I could, which wasn’t all that calmly. “We better get you to a hospital.” I didn’t know how bad it was, but there was a lot of blood. I realized I was shaking.

Tom put the cruiser in park and looked at his shoulder. “Son of a gun!” he said as the color started to fade from his tanned face. “Did you see the shooter?” he asked.

“It was a blue car—I think. It was going the other way. But I can’t even be sure that’s where the bullet came from,” I said as I grabbed the mic to the radio. In the next breath, I was reporting our situation to the dispatcher and was told to stay put, that backup and an ambulance were coming.

As I put the mic down, the dispatcher called for others to come to the scene and then told all officers in the area to be looking for a blue car. That was hopeless. After all, how many blue cars were there in Los Angeles? “You better let me look at that while we wait,” I said. I jumped out of the car, ran around to Tom’s side, and began removing his shirt. The bleeding was bad. I pulled a handkerchief from my pocket, applying pressure to his shoulder. The bullet, it appeared, had gone clear through. I tried to keep my breathing steady.

Now it hurts,” Tom mumbled, and I feared that he was going to pass out. “I didn’t even feel it until you mentioned it.” He tried to grin, but it didn’t quite work.

Help arrived, Sergeant Brolin was taken to the hospital, and I spent several hours filling out reports and answering questions. I was a reserve officer, but I worked two or three shifts a week and knew most of the officers in the precinct quite well. I had often ridden with Tom and had learned a lot from him. He was a genuinely nice guy, a good friend and mentor, but he was a police officer, and that alone could explain why he’d been shot. Anger was quickly beginning to replace my earlier fear.

No blue car with viable suspects was located that night or in subsequent days. I worked another shift later in the week, still shook up and quite livid, but nothing out of the ordinary occurred.

At the end of that shift, I headed home, arriving shortly before one in the morning. I was in a hurry to get to bed because I had a class at the university at nine. I had taken off my shoes and placed them in my closet, and I was beginning to unbutton my shirt when I heard something thud against the front wall of my apartment.

I moved quickly to the door, pulling my police-issued 9mm handgun. I opened my door about the same time my neighbor opened his. He was a big Tongan fellow, quite a nice guy, but when he picked up the brick and read the note attached to it, he looked anything but nice. He tore the note off and hurled the brick back into the street below our second-story balcony. He angrily read me the note, which said something like, “Your family will pay dearly for not cooperating.” My neighbor sputtered something about how no one better harm him or his family, and without another word to me, he went back into the apartment, carrying the note.

I glanced briefly at the spot where the brick had struck between our two apartments, leaving a dent in the siding. I shook my head and went inside, mad that innocent people were being terrorized. In the past three days, someone had shot my partner and someone else had threatened my neighbor. I was left wondering about the motivation of both events. Ten minutes later, I was asleep.

Twists and Turns

by  Lisa  -   reviewed on  November 10, 2013

This is the first book I have read of Clair M. Poulson's. He has written quite a few but I haven't had a chance to read one before. This book deals with a police detective, Keene Tempest. He has just lost his mother and is "forced" to take over the family hotel. His mother wished for him to run it, and his siblings agreed with her decision. He does it to respect and honor his mother. The job held more than he could have ever imagined. His brother is murdered in the hotel, and he discovers that his mother may have also been a murder victim. The detective in him has to discover the truth and solve the case, regardless of his own safety. He gets to work with a beautiful female cop, Chaille Donovan. Their attraction to each other is instantaneous. They also make a great team working together. The book takes some interesting twists and turns. At one point I thought I had it all figured out, but soon realized that the plot was more complex than it seemed. There were a few references to religion in the book, but it played a minor role. This book is a murder investigation with a little romance.


by  Shauna  -   reviewed on  September 07, 2013

What an AMAZING mystery! Tangled with so many suspects you really don't know who did it until the very end where clues are dropped making you suspect, but not really knowing, until the masks are down and the killer is pointing a gun at the hero. SO. SO. SO. GOOD! I couldn't put it down! Keene Tempest just wants to be a cop, but with his mother's passing he takes up the management of the family hotel. When one of the local police officers stops to introduce herself, she tells Keene that his mother's death might not be as it seems. Keene's police-trained mind goes into play and he starts asking the townsfolk questions. After someone else is then murdered in the hotel, Keene sets out on a journey to find the killer. But to do that he will also have to solve an old-case armed robbery, and discover the persons behind the multiple shootings that are now happening. Along the way his family feuding will be mended and a relationship will start with the beautiful local officer named Chaille Donovan. Chilling! Thrilling! and Captivating! You will LOVE this story!

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