In a driving sleet storm, a farmer has discovered a body snagged on cottonwood roots in the Washita River. Johnston County deputy Hannah Bond realizes it’s her elderly friend, Alice. Meanwhile, at the Golden Play Casino, robbers posing as armored-car guards kill a local stickball hero and friend of Chickasaw Lighthorse Police detective Bill Maytubby.
The trail leads through the quarry-scarred Oklahoma badlands to a remote airstrip and a planeload of drugs and untraceable automatic weapons. Also somehow connected are a shady coin-op vending company; a neo-Nazi compound outside Paris, Texas; and a headless janitor in a train-mangled van. As the net tightens, the smugglers get wind of their pursuers and converge on Maytubby and Bond at Greasy Bend Bridge.
Kris Lackey, author of the USA Today bestseller Nail’s Crossing, has published stories in the Missouri Review, Wisconsin Review, Cimarron Review, and other magazines. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.
In a remote corner of the Chickasaw Nation, tribal Lighthorse policeman Bill Maytubby and county deputy Hannah Bond discover the buzzard-ravaged body of Majesty Tate, a young drifter with a blank past. They comb Oklahoma's rock prairie, river bottoms, and hard-bitten small towns for traces of her last days.
Tate was seen dancing with Austin Love, a violent local meth dealer fresh out of prison. An Oklahoma City motel clerk connects her with an aspiring politician. An oil-patch roustabout and a shady itinerant preacher provide dubious leads. Ne'er-do-wells start dying off.
A fluke lead propels Maytubby deep into Louisiana's bayou country, where a Cajun shrimper puts him on the scent of a bizarre conspiracy. He and Bond reunite in the Chickasaw Nation for the eventual face-off at Nail's Crossing.
"As fine a mystery series debut as I've read in a long time."-Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire series
"Thrilling...Lackey's exciting story unwinds like a rattlesnake."-Bill Loehfelm, author of The Devil's Muse
"A captivating look at a little-known corner of rural Oklahoma...rife with drug problems, yet peopled by tenacious, idiosyncratic characters you can't help rooting for."-Kirkus Reviews
Homicide cop Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, are building a brand-new school and youth shelter. They know that the hard life can lead kids toward dangerous crossroads—and with this new project, they hope to nudge a few more of them onto the right path. For expert help, they hire child psychologist Dr. Rochelle Pickering—whose own brother pulled himself out of a spiral of addiction and crime with Rochelle’s support.
Lyle is living with Rochelle while he gets his life together, and he’s thrilled to hear about his sister’s new job offer. But within hours, triumph is followed by tragedy. Returning from a celebratory dinner with her boyfriend, she finds Lyle dead with a syringe in his lap, and Eve’s investigation confirms that this wasn’t just another OD. After all his work to get clean, Lyle’s been pumped full of poison—and a neighbor with a peephole reports seeing a scruffy, pink-haired girl fleeing the scene.
Now Eve and Roarke must venture into the gang territory where Lyle used to run, and the ugly underground world of tattoo parlors and strip joints where everyone has taken a wrong turn somewhere. They both believe in giving people a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth. But as far as they’re concerned, whoever gave the order on Lyle Pickering’s murder has run out of chances...