Steven Long was recently called a "legendary journalist" in a review of his new bestseller,Ruby's Passing. But his latest thriller is a departure from the stunning true crime tales of his past books as the veteran Texas author departs the realm of news for the world of fiction.
"Writing fiction is truly my most exciting encounter yet with the written word," he says. "After almost 40 years living under the discipline demanded by quality journalism, the sheer fun of storytelling is liberating. With this book, I have attempted to marry both, using the tragic real hometown deaths of friends from my childhood as the foundation for a gripping tale of insanity, possession, and pure adventure."
Long brings a robust and well-rounded knowledge of history toRuby's Passing and weaves it into the story of Elias Logan, an AWOL psychopathic killer possessed by the evil entity, Giromalo Savanorola Demon. After killing a family of three in the sleepy but mob controlled Texas town of Dickinson, the errant soldier steals his victim's car and runs for the Mexican border in a terrifying escape attempt across Texas.
And the book is filled with legendary figures and events of the mid twentieth century.
Steven Long skillfully introduces unforgettable characters like Orville Crump, a hapless and corrupt Texas constable who was offended and obsessed the killings happened on his watch; Sheriff Sam Patchcock, the immensely wealthy West Texas lawman who only put on a badge because he became weary of rustlers stealing cattle on his ranch - a spread 70 miles across in any direction; Sven Fredriksen, a man with a past who taps the rich ore of an abandoned silver mine and then secretly hoards it, and Rosemary Allan who inherits wealth to match Patchcock's own.
Long combines rich history into the narrative including Crump's encounter with Sen. Lyndon Johnson traveling the vastness of West Texas in the first ever helicopter campaign.
Never one to leave a horse out of a story, the author includes the birth of legendary equine athlete Cutter Bill - a potential addition to Patchcock's stable of prize steeds.
In Logan's dash for escape across the Mexican border the fugitive stumbles into the filming of George Stevens' Giant in the dusty and windblown West Texas town of Marfa.
Finally, the author introduces his readers to the legendary Tejano cowboys of the Lone Star State as they defend Patchcock's Sauceda Ranch, the heroic Saucequeros.