When the phone rings long after midnight, it spells trouble of the lethal kind for Dallas private eye Ed Earl Burch in a gritty and relentless hard-boiled thriller that races from the gleaming towers of Houston to the decadent charms of New Orleans and the stark desert mountains of the Texas Big Bend country and northern Mexico.
Burch is a cashiered homicide detective with bad knees, a wounded liver and an empty bank account. He’s been hired to protect an old flame after the disappearance of her husband, a high-flying Houston financier who ripped off his clients, including some deeply unsavory gentlemen from New Orleans.
It’s a simple job that goes wrong fast, plunging Burch into a ruthless contest where nothing and nobody can be trusted. Money and sex tempt him to break his own rules—twin temptations served up by the old flame, a rangy strawberry blonde with a violent temper and a terminal knack for larceny and betrayal.
Those New Orleans gentlemen give the game a more murderous edge by sending two hitmen to reclaim their stolen goods and kill anybody involved in the score.
Burch also faces an old adversary, Houston homicide detective Cider Jones, a mystic with Comanche blood who blames Burch for his partner’s death and wouldn’t mind seeing him wind up dead.
When his best friend gets murdered in Dallas by hired muscle, Burch blames himself and grimly sets out for vengeance that also delivers a bloody form of redemption.
The action is as remorseless and unpredictable as a runaway cement truck, leading to a lonely white chapel in an abandoned mining town on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.
Jim Nesbitt is the author of three award-winning, hard-boiled crime thrillers featuring battered but relentless Dallas PI Ed Earl Burch — THE LAST SECOND CHANCE, THE RIGHT WRONG NUMBER and THE BEST LOUSY CHOICE. THE RIGHT WRONG NUMBER was chosen as a 2018 Top Pick by Underground Book Reviews. THE BEST LOUSY CHOICE won a gold medal for best crime fiction in the 2020 Independent Press Awards and a bronze medal in the best mystery/thriller e-book category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards.