Dallas private eye Ed Earl Burch is an emotional wreck, living on the edge of madness, hosing down the nightmares of his last case with bourbon and Percodan, dreading the next onslaught of demons that haunt his days and nights, including a one-eyed dead man who still wants to carve out his heart and eat it.
Burch is also a walking contradiction. Steady and relentless when working a case. Tormented and unbalanced when idle. He’s deeply in debt to a shyster lawyer who forces him to take the type of case he loathes -- divorce work, peephole creeping to get dirt on a wayward husband.
Work with no honor. Work that reminds him of how far he’s fallen since he lost the gold shield of a Dallas homicide detective. Work in the stark, harsh badlands of West Texas, the border country where he almost got killed and his nightmares began.
What he longs for is the clarity and sense of purpose he had when he carried that gold shield and chased killers for a living. The adrenaline spike of the showdown. Smoke ‘em or cuff ‘em. Justice served -- by his .45 or a judge and jury.
When a rich rancher and war hero is killed in a suspicious barn fire, the rancher’s outlaw cousin hires Burch to investigate a death the county sheriff is reluctant to touch.
Seems a lot of folks had reason for wanting the rancher dead -- the local narco who has the sheriff on his payroll; some ruthless Houston developers who want the rancher’s land; maybe his own daughter. Maybe the outlaw cousin who hired Burch.
Thrilled to be a manhunter again, Burch ignores these red flags, forgetting something he once knew by heart.
Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. And it might just get you killed.
But it’s the best lousy choice Ed Earl Burch is ever going to get.
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Great book for fans of hard-boiled mysteries
West Texas is a harsh mistress. She’ll snake-bite you, shoot you, stampede you. Or-plain-old burn you up inside your own barn. Jim Nesbitt brings these dangers and the beauty of this harsh land to life in “The Best Lousy Choice,” the third book in his series featuring private eye Ed Earl Burch. Burch is the perfect character for mystery readers seeking hardboiled stories, more bad guys than good and unrelenting action. Nesbitt’s confident writing carries the reader through a tale of drug trafficking, land swindling and a family of black and white sheep at war with itself. As the story starts, Burch already knows well the dark and awful dangers of West Texas. His last case involving a psycho cartel assassin left him home in Dallas with nightmares of torture and cold sweats only cured by four (or five) fingers of whisky and casual sex. Though the last thing he wants to do is go back to West Texas, finances force him, and on the very sort of case he hates most—divorce. But that one little investigation becomes the least of worries. A shootout with narco gunmen, a dirty sheriff and a murder over land remind Burch why he wanted to avoid this tough land—and force him deeper into the criminal world on the border with Mexico. Burch, tough as those he faces, is as interesting for his nightmares as he is for his sharp mind and sharper tongue when on the job. “The Best Lousy Choice” is a great choice for readers looking for a thriller filled with action, atmosphere and unforgettable characters.