Five Star, Sep 2003, 25.95, 215 pp.
El Paso Detective Devon Gray is assigned to investigate the stabbing murder of a Jane Doe near the river. After completing his shift, he heads home where his live-in lover Samantha is hosting her ex-husband Jay Leher. Jay claims he drove not stop from Los Angeles because his girlfriend fled LA before calling him to tell him to forget her. Jay knows she is in trouble. Devon uses his connections to learn where Lisa Scobar was staying, but when he sees her photo he knows he has found out the identity of Jane Doe.
Devon travels to Chinati, Texas where Ranger Prairie Drake accompanies him; this is her first case. They visit Lisa's husband Sergio Tierrasantas, a wealthy man who lives like a warlord. When bad things start happen to people he cares about, Devon goes over the edge using excessive force, leading to a suspension and a job working for Sergio. As he spies on the power lord to try to bring him down, Devon finds his adversary quite a foe, making the cop wonder if he needs to cross the line to stop his enemy.
This is an exciting police procedural that contains twists and turns including one shocker of an ending. The story line is action packed yet in some ways low keys the investigation, which adds to the overall flavor. Though the relationship between the Texas Rangers and the city police is never fully explained except one on one in the boudoir, fans will enjoy this terse thriller and want to read the prequel PATRICIDE.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner