An East Texas sheriff’s quiet routine is shattered when one of his deputies is badly wounded in a traffic stop gone wrong.
Bo Handel, an erudite sheriff who once studied music at Rice University, has dealt for 30 years with a wide range of crimes and misdemeanors in Caddo County. Now, his African-American deputy has been shot and a white supremacist group has set up a compound in his county. The trouble all starts when a World War II vet who’s killed two robbers is found strangled in his home with no clue that could identify his killer. Although the supremacist compound is owned by a mild-mannered college professor with a racial bee in his bonnet, many of the members who hang out there belong to violent groups and have long criminal records. The FBI has an informant in the compound who’s working with Bo (Nights of the Red Moon, 2010, etc.), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gets involved when Bo receives a tip that automatic weapons are being smuggled into the compound. Bo develops a lead on the van his deputy’s shooter used, but that only leads to the murder of the van’s owner. Though he comes on like a typical good old boy, Bo is a clever detective, and his people skills keep the warring factions in check as he works to clear the most repugnant case of his career.
Burton, who recently passed away, will be missed by those who enjoy a good mystery. So will his quirky characters, especially wise, tough Sheriff Bo.