From Publishers Weekly
MWA Grandmaster Burke spins a tale replete with colorful prose and epic confrontations in his second novel to feature smalltown Texas sheriff Hackberry Holland (after Lay Down My Sword and Shield
). An anonymous phone call leads Holland, a Korean vet who survived a POW camp, to the massacre and burial site of nine Thai women, a crime that brings FBI and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials running. As a slew of bad guys relocated from New Orleans after Katrina grapple for advantage in new territory, mercurial killer Preacher Jack Collins finds plenty of work. Pete Flores, a possible witness to the massacre, and his girlfriend are targeted by Collins for elimination, and by the FBI for bait. Holland must protect the hapless Flores and his girl from both. Three strong female characters complement the full roster of sharply drawn lowlifes. The battle of wills and wits between Holland and Collins delivers everything Burke's fans expect. (July)
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Critics have nothing but praise for Burke's latest Hackberry Holland novel. An author with a deep regional feel for parts of the United States -- including Texas and Louisiana -- Burke aptly portrays "a range war in Southwest Texas -- a pitched battle between gangs of displaced bad guys, fighting among themselves for the new territory against the outmatched locals" (New York Times Book Review
). He revisits themes of sin and redemption, but adds unusual layers of depth to his story with a keen exploration of human flaws and true characterizations. Preacher Jack intrigued critics to no end, while even minor characters were wholly compelling. Burke's fans will relish this fast-paced, tense, and harrowing addition to his oeuvre.