Toward the end of this melodrama of lust, money and power in Flavia County, Texas -- all as self-seeding and sullenly resistant as ragweed -- Son Cunningham, the central character who had ambitions of ""going all the way,"" paraphrases Crime and Punishment to the effect that murders don't happen and end but go on for a long time. Perhaps for too long a time here, in a self-fulfilling fashion, and long before the arrival of Sugar, last of the Campbells, whom Son hires (whether to kill, or be killed?). But the primary target, although not the first murder, is one Tee Kitchens with a big insurance policy on his life which has a near due date, as well as a promiscuous and unhappy wife Adrienne whom Cunningham wants and just about everyone else has had. . . . This first novel takes a tenacious hold of the reader and Crawford can write -- with grit, gristle and humor. Who knows -- this book might waltz across some screen since it has that visual kind of virulence and casual disregard for human life -- qualities which have been so prominently developed on both the large and small screen.