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James Lee Burke with a compelling character: a sheriff with a haunted past on the hunt for a deranged killer. Hackberry Holland is a man haunted by a chequered and traumatic past. A former POW from the Korean War, he has left everything behind to become sheriff of a dried-out, broken-down border town in south Texas. But Hack soon finds himself dealing with more than just his own demons when nine dead prostitutes are dug up behind a run-down church. The search for justice - and revenge - pits Hack against hired guns, drug dealers who operate on both sides of the border, and a psychotic killer known as The Preacher. As Holland frantically tries to end the cycle of killings and bring justice to the dead girls, he discovers just how dark the deepest corners of the human heart can get, and how redemption can come in the form of a woman's love...