A Punishing Breed, the first in a series of novels featuring Detective DJ Arias, is a murder mystery that takes place in Los Angeles, the city of angels, freeways, Santa Ana winds, and honeysuckle slithering through chain-link fences and perfuming LA’s dark streets and neighborhoods. Detective Arias hunts for a murderer on a liberal arts campus that prides itself on its progressive curriculum but is rife with jealousy, racial and sexual tensions, and a hierarchy as real and destructive as a medieval fortress. DJ Arias, good at his job because he sees the worst in people, is challenged by the college community, a neighborhood recluse, and a young Latino gardener he sent to jail ten years ago for a hit-and-run accident. Through the course of his investigation, Arias will find out no one is who they appear to be. He begins to reclaim his humanity by adopting a dog he names Evidence and finding the clues to a crime born from a dark secret not contained in the past but alive in the present, which will cast destruction and murder on the denizens of the small liberal arts campus.