From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
For Tres Navarre, English professor turned private investigator, business has lately taken a drastic turn south. But if chasing down bail jumpers, adulterous spouses, and workmen’s comp cases seemed like the dregs of the PI game, it was at least a living. Not as much could be said for tracking down a man like Will “the Ghost” Stirman.
The stone-cold killer has just staged a bloody escape from the Floresville State Penitentiary with a gang of violent cons as spooked by Stirman as those on the outside who helped put him behind bars. And no one seems more worried than Navarre’s boss and mentor, Erainya Manos. It was her husband along with rival PI Sam Barrera who built the case that sent Stirman away. But Erainya’s husband is dead and she’s certain Stirman won’t let that stand in the way of his taking revenge against her and her adopted son.
All of Navarre’s instincts are screaming that there’s more to this case than meets the eye. But Erainya won’t tell him—and Sam Barrera seems to be escaping into a strange twilight from a truth too terrible to remember. That leaves Tres to dig into a twisted mystery of greed, vigilantism, and murder, where lives are bought and sold and the line between guilt and innocence is razor-thin. Meanwhile, Stirman and his gang are coming, leaving behind them a trail of brutal, unforgiving violence that will end in an area of San Antonio known as Southtown—but that may soon just as well be called hell on earth.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Southtown|
|Release Date: 04-27-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Fourth of July morning, Will Stirman woke up with blood on his hands.
He’d been dreaming about the men who killed his wife. He’d been strangling them, one with each hand. His fingernails had cut half-moons into his palms.
Sunlight filtered through the barred window, refracted by lead glass and chicken wire. In the berth above, his cell mate, Zeke, was humming “Amazing Grace.”
“Up yet, boss?” Zeke called, excitement in his voice.
Today was the day.
A few more hours. Then one way or the other, Will would never have to have that dream again.
He wiped his palms on the sheets. He shifted over to his workspace—a metal desk with a toadstool seat welded to the floor. Stuck on the walls with Juicy Fruit gum were eight years’ worth of Will’s sketches, fluttering in the breeze of a little green plastic fan. Adam and Eve. Abraham and Isaac. Moses and Pharaoh.
He opened his Bible and took out what he’d done last night—a map instead of a Bible scene.
Behind him, Zeke slipped down from the bunk. He started doing waist twists, his elbows cutting the air above Will’s head. “Freedom sound good, boss?”
“Watch what you say, Zeke.”
“Hell, just Independence Day.” Zeke grinned. “I didn’t mean nothing.”
Zeke had a gap-toothed smile, vacant green eyes, a wide forehead dotted with acne. He was in Floresville State for raping elderly ladies in a nursing home, which didn’t make him the worst sort Will had met. Been abused as a kid, is all. Had some funny ideas about love. Will worried how the boy wo