The Riverbottom Emperor release is tomorrow, March 15. 

Jack Derrett seizes a case that becomes extraordinarily difficult, dangerous, and weird. Yet it changes so many things, personal, professionally and with only a little gunplay.

To Jack it was a simple investigation about a dead man. Buck Canton hunted the river bottoms and called himself the emperor there. He died attacking a city police officer and the family sued. Hale, the city’s lawyer, knew of Jack’s tenacity. He was just the guy to save the town. A six-million-dollar lawsuit would bankrupt the city of Macabre, Texas.

Jack’s interview with the estranged daughter surprised him. She was happy Buck was gone, and she was not part of the lawsuit. Her story painted him and the family as depraved human beings.

The Canton family warned Jack to go away by burning his truck overnight. He starts home in a rental car and a big truck tries to ram him off the road. Another family member tries to burn Jack’s home, and there is a gunfight at Danny August’s Gun Shop. Jack’s famous gun-fighter gaze and mild manner hid a ferocious temper. When Hale suggested they drop the case, he said, “I’m going back, they burned my truck.” But why is the Canton family so out of control? What are they hiding? This is too much violence for a civil case.

Danny August went with him. Was he testing him? That seemed odd to Jack. Danny didn’t need the excitement; he had once been a Colonel with the Army Rangers. Why did he talk to people at the Pentagon, and the State Department all the time? Even Danny had secrets.

Jack hated keeping the dangers of Macabre from his wife, or that he was taking suggestions from ghosts.

As Jack and Danny become closer friends on the trip, can they pierce the secrecy of the outlaw Canton family, and stay alive?

Jack Derrett is a masculine Texas lawman. His story tells of a powerful, action-oriented man protecting his friends and family. It is a life-threatening story of self-sacrifice and calculated risk.

Read it.

Jack Derrett Family

I’ve never read police procedurals aka crime thrillers that had pictures. That’s not what the picture above is about. Ann Derrett, Jack’s wife, is a hot shot lawyer who is partner in an Austin law firm. She’s hanging on him, because that’s what she does. Hale, his brother owns a law firm, is the former DA and highly politically connected. The last fellow in the picture is Danny August.

The picture is generated by AI. So it made Jack look too young for how I see him, but it’s very close. Danny August is a multi-millionaire and CEO of a private military and corporate security firm he founded along with four Army buddies. He calls those old friends His Patrol. Each are, even at retirement age, at their battlefield weight, and retain their physical skills. The are the bigger family to which, Jack’s people are a part.

If that’s as clear as muddy water right now. The book is right around the corner, or you could get the free eBook.

Before the First Line (the eBook)

Riverbottom Emperor is available for preorder, you can still get a copy of Before the First Line if you like. Its a collection of 5 short stories. Jack Derrett is a rugged, experienced police investigator, but he wasn’t borne that way. BTFL begins in high school and takes you through his rookie season to his journeyman phase. (about 17,000 eBook pages.)