East of Texas, West of Hell

Rod Davis’s New Addition to his ‘Jack Prine’ Private Investigator Series Offers Plenty of Action, Gunplay, and Southern Geography

Labels can be attached to this new novel, the second book in Rod Davis’s “Jack Prine” private investigator series. For example, you might call it “Southern noir” or perhaps “grit lit.” Whatever. I call it “good reading,” and if you’re looking for a new detective series to follow, I recommend checking out East of Texas, West of Hell. However, if you prefer to always begin with the debut book in a series, start with the first “Jack Prine” book, South, America. There, you can pick up more of Jack Prine’s back story and his approach to life, danger, and justice.

Prine, an ex-Dallas TV reporter/anchor turned New Orleans private detective, has a good and generous heart when he’s among friends he can trust. But he can be reckless and quick to use his fists, guns, or other weapons when the action and danger get hot. For example, during an tense incident in East of Texas, West of Hell, he sneaks into a rural drug lab and finds two men in the middle of cooking meth. They respond by making sudden moves, and Prine recounts: “I didn’t know if they were reaching for guns or tending to their cook, so I shot them anyway.” Prine’s quick-triggered reaction also inadvertently sparks a big fire and raises the stakes quickly for some of the book’s major characters. In short, Jack Prine not only looks for trouble but sometimes creates trouble for himself and others as he tries relentlessly to get to the truth behind some bad situations.

East of Texas, West of Hell, published by New South Press, Montgomery, AL

Rod Davis, who now lives and writes in San Antonio, Texas, is a veteran writer of both journalism and fiction. He is a former editor of The Texas Observer and has written for numerous other publications and has taught writing at the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University.

Si Dunn

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