|Against the hard, cruel realities of the West Texas borderland, John DeMers gives us a new hero: a lean, smart, tough-minded Big Bend river guide named Danny Morales. Danny is a former newspaper photographer from San Antonio, making a life under an assumed name in the funky, chili-crazed, end-of-the-road watering hole of Terlingua. He lives one day at a time with an oddball collection of aging losers, dropouts and runaways, who gather to swap tall tales and lubricate away their troubles. Life seems predictable until two strands of history reach out for Danny and, despite Terlingua’s legendary heat, he finds himself drawn him into death’s icy embrace.
A half-century-old dark secret has forced Danny to the remoteness of Terlingua. As part of an investigation of a new expansion of San Antonio’s convention center, Danny uncovered a web of shadows weaving together the 1963 JFK assassination in Dallas and the back room politics behind the 1968 HemisFair. Tying the ugly puzzle together: New Orleans Mob boss “Little Nick” Falcone whose influence traveled across Gulf Coast from New Orleans, moving inland to Dallas before descending to corrupt the heart of the ever-smiling fiesta city forever.
Danny’s almost-father-in-law, a longtime U.S. District Judge, tracks him down in Terlingua to seek absolution for his part in the dirty drama. The judge is gunned down inside Danny’s Airstream before he can explain. The forces of the past followed the judge to Danny, and they’ll do anything to keep their secret buried with its many dead. Until Danny can return to San Antonio and face his deepest fears, all he can do is run. In the end, his life, and the truth behind one of America’s greatest mysteries, will hang by a single cable seven hundred feet above the floodlit trees of HemisFair Park.
JOHN DeMERS divides his time among Houston, Austin and Marfa. He is the author of more than forty published books—many about food, wine and travel, plus the West Texas Noir series that includes the Chef Brett mysteries starting with Marfa Shadows. When not spinning yarns set in his favorite corner of the Lone Star State, John hosts the Delicious Mischief food and wine radio program on NewsRadio 740 KTRH in Houston and Talk 1370 in Austin. He is a regular contributor to Houston and Prime Living magazines, as well as to Houston ArtsWeek. His other works for Bright Sky Press include the new Lone Star Chefs and the iconic Follow the Smoke: 14,783 Miles of Great Texas Barbecue.