In Ruby's Passing, Steven Long's fourth and most stunning book length work, the author bases his first fiction work on an actual brutal murder committed in 1955 that forever changed the history of the small bedroom community of Dickinson, Texas - and an aftermath that takes the reader from the rural roads of the Southern Gulf Coast to the Badlands of West Texas.
Elias Logan, a man destined for trouble, has deserted the U.S. Air Force in Florida and is on a mission - to hitchhike to the West Coast of Mexico and board a ship that will take him across the Pacific to his lover, Taeko in Japan. When his ride drops him in South Louisiana, Logan meets Ruby McShane, the attractive, vivacious wife of a prosperous oilman. Ruby is on one of many regular visits to her husband who follows the industry's never ending quest for black gold in the oil patch. When Ruby offers Logan a ride as far as her home in Texas, he eagerly accepts. Money and resources are low for him and he hatches a new plan. He will steal Ruby's car, kill the woman, and head to the border where he will cross the Rio Grande to safety and a new life.
Elias Logan kills Ruby and her family in their beds, and then casually eats a sandwich before striking out on his run and a spellbinding journey that takes him across the scorching expanses of the Chihuahuan Desert. He finds himself in treacherous terrain teeming with viperous wildlife and suddenly the appearance of a constant companion.
As the noose of lawmen from every agency begins to close in, he comes face to face with the very essence of evil itself, a supernatural companion who successfully urges him to kill and maim again and again. Throughout it all two corrupt and hapless lawmen meet an honest and immensely wealthy sheriff and the beautiful heir to a silver mine, for a spellbinding chase through Texas' most unforgiving region surrounding the enormous lands of Sauceda Ranch.