Christopher Valen is the author of seven works of fiction featuring Colombian born St. Paul Homicide Detective John Santana, White Tombs (2008), The Black Minute (2009), Bad Weeds Never Die (2011), Bone Shadows (2012), Death's Way (2014), The Darkness Hunter (2015) and Speak For The Dead (2017). White Tombs, The Black Minute, and Bad Weeds Never Die all won the Reader Views Choice Award for Best Mystery/Thriller. Bone Shadows won the Midwest Independent Publisher's Award for Best Mystery/Thriller.
Christopher is a graduate of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy and has many contacts and resources in the law enforcement community. He lives in Minnesota with his Colombian born wife, Martha.
The brutal murders of two young women in the caves along the Mississippi River pull St. Paul Homicide Detective John Santana into a case with all the telltale signs of a serial killer. Except that one of the victims doesn’t fit. In a case fraught with internal and external politics, Santana must speak for the dead, while trying to finally make peace with the past.
The death of a beautiful escort in a downtown hotel room appears to be a case of auto-erotic asphyxiation gone wrong. But when a woman brings her young daughter to the police department with a strange story about a similar death six years before, Homicide Detective John Santana is drawn into a dangerous web of drugs, sex, and deceit, and toward a shocking secret that lies buried in the past.
When the body of a young, Hmong woman is found on Harriet Island near the Mississippi River, it appears to be a simple case of murder and revenge. But what begins as a routine investigation soon becomes something far more sinister. Drawn into a maze of political intrigue, Santana uncovers a web of lies and a terrifying plot that could lead to a national disaster––and to his own death.
When St. Paul Homicide Detective John Santana is assigned a cold case involving the murder of an environmental engineer, he begins to see connections to a case he investigated two years before––the murder of a young Native American woman. But in seeking justice for the victims, it soon becomes clear that someone wants to keep their deaths buried, someone very cunning . . . and very deadly.
The bodies of young men have been turning up in the Mississippi River for years, their deaths attributed to excessive drinking. But when an Iraq war vet suffering from PTSD is found in the river, St. Paul Homicide Detective John Santana must decide if the young man’s death was accidental or the result of something far more sinister.
When a blood spattered Mercedes belonging to the daughter of a prominent psychologist is found abandoned, there are few clues to her whereabouts but a million dollars' worth of reasons why someone might want her dead.
Homicide Detective John Santana's search for answers leads him back to Colombia, where he must face the ghosts of his past and the man who has vowed to kill him.
When a prominent leader of St. Paul's Hispanic community is murdered, Detective John Santana promises the widow he will bring down the killer. Hunted by an assassin out for revenge and haunted by his violent Colombian past and the younger sister he left behind, Santana's simple vow to a dead man's wife becomes an oath that could cost him his life.