Bill Travis, an unmarried, unattached investment counselor rapidly approaching his fortieth birthday, conceives that he may not live the most exciting of lives, yet Julie Simmons, his first appointment that Monday, is deeply in trouble. She has taken a North Texas quarter horse racer and liquor baron named Archie Carpin - the last of a dynasty of criminals from the 1920's - for a ride and cleaned him out of a neat two million bucks. And thus begins the adventure of Bill's life.
When an old man covered in dirt walks into the country honky-tonk and says "the falling," right before dropping dead, Bill Travis has to penetrate the gathering dark cloak of secrecy surrounding his death. He has to get the truth before a team of nuclear regulators can rake the entire incident under the carpet.
Who killed Edgar Bristow, millionaire philanthropist and war hero? In a small Texas town where everyone knows everyone else, the list of suspects can be every person you've met. What dark secrets wait for the man who is unafraid to turn over any stone? And will the killer strike again before Bill can get to the truth?
Why would someone want to kill the curator of the Texas Rangers Museum? And why is Walt Cannon, a 30-year veteran Ranger, the chief suspect? And what could the murder possibly have to do with a very old arson case and satanic worship both north and south of the Texas-Mexico border? To answer these questions, Bill Travis needs the help of the unlikeliest of all sidekicks, including womanizing insurance agent Perry Reilly and Bill's own adopted daughter, Jessica.
"George, you've done it again. Thanks again."
What is the "blue bone" and what does a seventeenth-century French ship have to do with East Texas? When Bill Travis gets the word that his best friend has been murdered, he not only has to take a trip back to the town where he grew up, he has to go up against some old ghosts who were better left alone. What modern secrets lie hidden in the dark beneath the countryside where Bill grew up? And what darker, more ancient secret will he unearth?
When Death Row inmate Norman Howell drops a tidbit about how he and his father once helped the current Texas Governor get rid of competing Vietnamese fisherman with the use of high-powered explosives, Bill Travis has to decide whether to kick (and awaken) this particular sleeping dog, or whether to let it go. But then the Governor's men come calling for him, and all hell breaks loose.
"Not as good as the 1st. But that's common."
Why is the 50-year-old secret of a missing military transport plane motivating some desperate men to begin setting deathtraps for Bill Travis, his client Holt Gatlin, and anyone else involved? To what lengths will they go to stop Bill for good? Does Holt Gatlin hold the cure to mankind's myriad diseases and possibly the answer to immortality itself, or is he instead the host for an ancient evil? To find the answer, Bill must have the help of the most unlikely sidekick of all.
Who killed local debutante Delores Fogel in the sleepy central Texas town of Elysium? Benjamin LeFren was exonerated for the crime and released from jail 30 years after the fact, thanks in part to Shane Robeling, former FBI agent and now Elysium's Chief of Police. But now Shane is not so sure of LeFren's innocence. When LeFren shows up in Elysium, Shane must guard LeFren from the townspeople he has sworn to protect.
It's 1975, two years before the murder of Delores Fogel shocked the Central Texas town of Elysium, setting up the chain of events that would lead to the post-millennium conclusion to the mystery in Murder In Elysium. Michael Lee "Mucho Love" Harper, Elysium's Chief of Police, has a double-murder on his hands, and this is the strangest killing of his career.