It took two years and a couple of blown deadlines, but I finally finished the draft of my second Colt Harper novel, working title BLOOD BROTHERS.
This one brings back some familiar characters (Sheriff Colt Harper, Lydia, Deputy John Carver) and introduces some new ones — and for those of you who have read the Wade Stuart novels, you’ll recognize Special Agent Molly McDonough.
The story has its origins in a short story I published a few years ago (“The Booze Rumor”), a war story about two Marines, “Moonpie” Jones and “Flip” Wilson, who get themselves into a tragic jam during the Gulf War. BLOOD BROTHERS takes place years later and answers a question I had been asking myself for a while: Whatever happened to Flip? You can read the story over on the “Fiction” page.
Here’s a synopsis:
Kevin Jones is a small-town crook in rural Alabama who lives with his mother and in the shadow of his dead father, a Marine named “Moonpie” Jones killed during Operation Desert Storm. After a sordid childhood as the son of an alcoholic, drug-addled widow still grieving her dead husband, Kevin embarks on his own low-life version of the “get rich quick” scheme: ripping off drug dealers for quick cash. But when his antics get the attention of a ruthless Memphis hired gun, he knows he’s in over his head and calls the one man he thinks can help him: Bobby “Flip” Wilson, his dad’s best friend from the war.
But Wilson, years into his own guilt-powered addiction over the death of his best friend, is utterly unable to cope with this predicament and pleads with another comrade-in-arms, Sheriff Colt Harper, to protect Kevin – and himself.
Giving in to a sense of loyalty that overrides his better judgment after Kevin’s mother disappears without a trace, Harper sets off from his neighboring county in Mississippi to do just that and comes face-to-face with pure evil in the form of the man known only as “Hack,” the oddly urbane, sadistic killer for hire, an ex-con and refugee from the hills of Kentucky. Harper also encounters Special Agent Molly McDonough, an ATF agent driven by her own need for redemption for herself and justice for the killer she’s tracking.
Harper, though, is bent on vengeance and lets nothing deter him until a final bloody showdown with Hack. Harper looks into the face of evil seeking that vengeance but ultimately finding redemption, in the form of a bullet.
So, what’s next? Editing, editing, editing.
And if you’ve gotten this far and are still wondering what the fuss is about, check out the first Colt Harper
novel, Deep Blood
, right here