Heartwood - Billy Bob Holland, Bk 2 Author:James Lee Burke Heartwood is a kind of tree that grows in layers. And as Billy Bob's grandfather once told him, you do well in life by keeping the roots in a clear stream and not letting anyone taint the water for you. But in Holland's dusty little hometown of Deaf Smith, in the hill country north of Austin, local kingpin Earl Deitrich has made a... more » fortune running roughshod and tainting anyone who stands in his way. Billy Bob has problems with Deitrich and his shamelessly callous demeanor, but can't shake the legacy of his passion for Deitrich's "heartbreak-beautiful" wife, Peggy Jean.
When Holland takes on the defense of Wilbur Pickett -- a man accused of stealing an heirloom and three hundred thousand dollars in bonds from Deitrich's office -- he finds himself up against not Earl's power and influence, but also a past Billy Bob can't will away. A wonderfully realized novel, rich in Texas atmosphere and lore, and a dazzling portrait of the deadly consequences of self-delusion, Heartwood could only have been written by James Lee Burke, a writer in expert command of his craft.« less
Peggy Jean Deitrich smells of heat and roses, volunteers in the local library, and hides her bruises well. Once Billy Bob Holland made love to her in the woods above the river. Now Peggy Jean is married to the richest man in town. And Billy Bob, a former Texas Ranger who now defends criminals for a living, is out to destroy him.
Earl Deitrich has had his way with the town of Deaf Smith, for years. Then Earl accused a hapless roustabout of a crime, and touched off a chain reaction of murder from the streets of Houston to the hill country around Billy Bob's ranch. Fueled by his memories and regrets, following a trail of shattered lives, Billy Bob knows that he must go after Earl with a vengeance. He just doesn't know how many people will get in the way or who will be the last to die ....