La Jolla High School grad launches novel at the library

New York Times bestselling author Caitlin Rother, a graduate of La Jolla High School, will sign, sell and speak about “Naked Addition” her first fiction novel, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 at La Jolla Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.

“I hope people in La Jolla will enjoy reading a story that takes place in their own neighborhood,” she said, adding events in the book occur at Harry’s Coffee Shop, the hang-glider port at Torrey Pines and WindanSea Beach.

A longtime crime reporter, Rother centered the book on a murder, and the cop who sets out to solve it. Ken Goode, a San Diego Police Department officer hopes to transfer from the narcotics unit to homicide. He begins working relief — a way to gain experience in advance of a transfer by filling in for a regular homicide detective — and on his way to the station one day, he comes across the murdered body of a beautiful young woman in an alley.

Hoping to prove his salt and solidify his transfer, he takes the case. Readers soon discover the woman is in her early 20s and looks remarkably like Ken Goode’s mother did at that age — when she killed herself by jumping off the Coronado Bridge.

“I learned all the police procedures and the ins and outs of homicide work when I was a reporter,” she said, “I worked for a newspaper during the week and attended fiction- writing workshops on weekends.

“I was actually a cub reporter in Massachusetts, similar to one of the characters in the book named Norman, and I really missed home,” she said, so she wrote the book as a story featuring places she missed. In working on the novel, she received a review from crime writer Michael Connelly, whose book “The Lincoln Lawyer” was adapted into a film starring Matthew McConaughey. She integrated his suggestions, chiefly the nitty-gritty details about police work, into the novel.

Although “Naked Addiction” is the first book of fiction she wrote, it was not the first one to get published. She penned several non-fiction books explaining real-life crimes and cases, which earned her a spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

“Naked Addiction” was originally published in 2007, but went out of print. With “more punch to my name now that I have other books,” and a new publisher, Rother said she hopes the revised version — which replaces fax machines and phone booths with computers — will reach more people.

Riford Library branch manager Shaun Briley noted the public is invited to the launch. “Where better to launch a novel set in La Jolla than in La Jolla itself? We get a lot of La Jolla High School students in the library and I thought it could be inspirational to have a former student who has made a mark in her chosen field come to talk.”

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