When Hackberry Holland became sheriff of a tiny Texas town near the Mexican border, he'd hoped to leave certain things behind: his checkered reputation, his haunted dreams, and his obsessive memories of the good life with his late wife, Rie. But the discovery of the bodies of nine illegal aliens, machine-gunned to death and buried in a shallow grave behind a church, soon makes it clear that he won't escape so easily. As Hack and Deputy Sheriff Pam Tibbs attempt to untangle the threads of this complex and grisly case, a damaged young Iraq veteran, Pete Flores, and his girlfriend, Vikki Gaddis, are running for their lives, hoping to outwit the bloodthirsty criminals who want to kill Pete for his involvement in the murders. The only trouble is, Pete doesn't know who he's running from: drunk and terrified, he fled the scene of the crime when the shooting began. And there's a long list of people who want Pete and Vikki dead: crime boss Hugo Cistranos, who hired Pete for the operation; Nick Dolan, a strip club owner and small-time gangster with revenge on his mind; and a mysterious God-fearing serial-killer-for-hire known as Preacher Jack Collins, with enigmatic motives of his own. With the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and a host of cold-blooded killers on Pete and Vikki's trail, it's up to Sheriff Holland to find them first and figure out who's behind the mass murder before anyone else ends up dead. In this thrilling and intricate work, James Lee Burke has once again proven himself a master storyteller and a perceptive chronicler of the darkest corners of the human heart.
American mystery author, James Lee Burke, was born in Houston, Texas, explaining why most of the lead characters in his novels are Texan. He has won two Edgar awards, which is a very rare experience, and is a bestselling author of two short story collections and over thirty novels. Burke is best known for his Dave Robicheaux series. His Edgar Awards were for Black Cherry and Cimarron Rose. Two of his series were made into screen plays with each movie having a-list actors playing the Robicheaux character (Alec Baldwin - Heaven's Prisoners, and Tommy Lee Jones- In the Electric Mist).
A writer must usually hold down other employment while they attempt to gain a degree of following readers. Burke's various jobs included.......truck driver, newspaper reporter, social worker, land surveyor, unemployment system employee, Job Corps worker, teacher, and finally, novelist.
Burke lives in Montana with his wife, Pearl, two daughters, and four grandchildren. His favorite advice was given by Irving Stone, when Burke was nineteen.......... "Never write a story to pay your gas bill......if you do, be assured your utilities will be turned off".
Yet a third complicated character created by James Lee Burke is introduced in this book. He is a West Texas county sheriff haunted by his experiences as a POW during the Korean War. He faces the dilemma of his much younger female deputy being in love with him. As usual, Burke conjures up some neat bad guys for the action junkies. Finally, there is no one who can read an audio book country like Will Patton.