Synopsis: Two Days in the Life of a Dead Man
When head of security, Joe Tom Kilgore, finds his mentor and boss, the Texas attorney general, shot to death, his search for the elusive killer forces him to relive his own troubled and bloody past. Kilgore has struggled to leave his memories as a soldier in Viet Nam and as a sheriff in rural West Texas behind—along with his life as a stone cold killer. Within seven days of his boss’s death, Kilgore and his buddy, a cop that doesn’t always play by the rules, find that two other victims have been brutally murdered—an employee of the attorney general and a young prostitute. In a harrowing race against time—across the desolate plains of Texas to the perilous Mexican border—on the heels of a killer, Kilgore is up against forces more evil than any he has faced in the line of fire. Knowing he is walking into a madman’s trap of almost certain death, Kilgore must call upon a few loyal—and often disreputable—friends, to help him find the killer and survive to see another Texas sunset.
Joe Tom walked down the long hallway of the ground floor to the executive suite of offices on the south side of the building. He used his master key to enter the suite, turned on the lights, and looked around. Everything looked normal. He then walked down the inside hallway and knocked on the door to Robert’s office. There was no sound from inside. Joe Tom tried the door. It was locked, but that was normal. He considered waiting for Robert to arrive, but after the strange feeling he’d had this morning, he decided to check inside just to ease his mind.
He unlocked Robert’s door, opened it slowly and said, “Damn!” He sensed the faint metallic smell of blood and the lingering odor of gunpowder. He grabbed the Glock, racked a round into the chamber and stepped into the office, pistol leveled in front of him and his eyes scanning the room for movement. There was none. His heart felt as though it were trying to beat its way out of his chest.
Then Joe Tom saw him. Robert sat at the large desk, his head in a pool of blood on the desk. His right hand held a chrome plated 25 caliber Smith & Wesson that Joe Tom recognized immediately as Robert’s gun. Joe Tom moved toward the desk, still ready to react if needed, but his attention was squarely on his friend. As he approached the desk his mind pulled up the image of a Mexican man kneeling on the ground with his hands and feet bound behind him and the man’s face was illuminated by the beam's flashlights giving it an ashen, fish belly appearance. More accurately a lack of color. His hair was long and un-kept and he had a thick black mustache. His clothes were clean and his boots looked new. In the west there was a flash of heat lightning that gave the scene a brief moment of transparency. There was a small double barrel derringer pistol next to his right temple, and the hammer was cocked. As the Mexican cried and pleaded for his life the gun fired once. In Joe Tom’s mind this picture was in shades of grey and there was no sound. There was a bright flash of light from the gun and a white puff of smoke. When the man toppled over on his side the second bullet was fired into his head. Then the vision was gone.
Joe Tom quickly shook off the abhorrent vision as he held his Glock toward the ceiling in his right hand and with his left, he touched Robert’s left wrist in a vain attempt to find a pulse. Joe Tom noticed what seemed to be a large bruise on the back of Robert’s right hand. The one that held the gun. As he turned to go, he said through clenched teeth, “Ah goddamn, Robert, what have you done?” As he turned he thought he saw a dim shadow move across the back wall of Robert’s office. But when he turned back, nothing was there. He holstered the Glock, walked quickly out of Robert’s office through Vera’s outer office and into the hallway.
“Charlie!” he yelled.
“Call 911. General Bailey’s been shot!”
"His heart felt as though it were trying to beat its way out of his chest."