Colton Parker (Jim Sanderson)

Created by Jim Sanderson

It’s the 1980s, and there’s boom money to be made–one way or another–in the hard-scrabble West Texas oil patches out near Odessa, but COLTON PARKER isn’t exactly setting the world on fire. He’s a chump-change criminal, trying to stay out of trouble, working as a bouncer for a local gambler, and things aren’t going so good.

And then Danny Fowler, a local man, prone to looking for love in all the wrong places, gets himself gay-bashed to death. Mina, his wealthy, conservative mama, doesn’t want to involve the cops–good gawd, what if the world learned of her son’s proclivities?

So she hires Colton to privately investigate the murder and to track down the killers, waving money in his face. He’d rather not, but Colton has a wife and two young kids to feed, and he reluctantly accepts. He enlists the aid of Bullet Price, a socially ambitious “retired” hooker,  and Way Low, a gay mechanic, Colton tracks down the two oil-field welders who killed Danny.

I’m not even sure if this means a permanent career change for Colton (and possible sequels), but I’m intrigued enough to hope so.


A professor and chair of English and modern language at Texas-based Lamar University, Jim Sanderson may not be the most prolific of authors, but over the years, he’s published over eighty short stories, plus essays, articles and novels, wandering from genre to genre, with almost everything he’s written being greeted with some serious acclaim. P.I. fans should definitely check out his series featuring San Antonio bounty hunter Jerri Johnson.



  • “A brilliant, intense carefully crafted narrative with no feeling of strain or effort. This is masterwork. The language and vision match, so the world opens for us as readers without any waver of authenticity. We are in it and trust what we are learning. There is always more to understand than we can, at the moment.”
    — Mary Hood
  • “Jim brings a literary and poetic sensibility to his compelling, utterly original crime novel, full of edgy, unique characters, sharp dialogue, and powerful storytelling.”
    — Lee Goldberg
  • “Noir-writer Jim Sanderson’s tough new novel gives us a two-generation search for belonging and soul set in the boom-bust oil town of Odessa, Texas. Sanderson’s tortured characters are unexpectedly loyal, and they carry the weight of their own longings…”
    — Lisa Sandlin


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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