Dangerous things, those lids you Americans always put on your coffee cups. Back in England we get a latte in a tall glass with a low handle. Here in Texas it’s a paper cup with a plastic lid. The dangerous part was me trying to remove the lid because that’s how real men drink coffee. Not through a peephole you can shove a straw through. Anyway, there I am at Gilda’s Grill and Diner trying to prize the lid off when… Disaster. Lid flicks off. Cup tips over. Scalding coffee shriveling my nuts and a swirl of white foam up my t-shirt like a question mark. I should have expected no less because so far I wasn’t seeing the upside of coming to Absolution, Texas.
First off there was the conductor telling me, “This train don’t stop at Absolution.” Reminded me of the ticket collector in For A Few Dollars More telling Lee Van Cleef he didn’t stop at Tucumcari. After the train did stop there was the station agent telling me, “Sunset Limited hasn’t stopped here in years.” A step up from never but suggesting maybe I shouldn’t be visiting the dried up patch of town in the middle of nowhere.
Developing the theme there was the desk clerk in an empty hotel saying, “We aint got no rooms,” and the guy leaning back on the chair when I got out the shower telling me this was his room. Pushing me. Trying to get a rise but all I’d give him was, “That’s a neat trick, that balancing thing. You should be in the circus.” Then there was the old timer shooting rats in the town dump and Scott Macready at Sixto’s Gas and Wreckers not wanting me to visit Adobe Flats. Point blank refusing to let me hire a car or buy a cup of tea. “You’re in Texas. We don’t drink tea.”
Bringing me right back to the diner next door and the swirl of white foam like a question mark. And the only friendly face I’d seen since arriving in the town the train never stopped at, Sarah Hellstrom. “If they don’t use lids in England, why don’t you spill your coffee back home?” Okay so maybe not that friendly but at least she had a smile on her face. Maybe there was an upside to visiting Absolution after all. But that was for later. First I had a job to do. A private and personal and heartbreaking one.
You can read more about Jim in Adobe Flats, the third book in the “Resurrection Man” thriller series, published by Midnight Ink. The first book in the series is Jamaica Plain.
Synopsis for ADOBE FLATS
A dust-up in Texas leads to explosive action
On a personal mission to return an heirloom to the father of his former colleague, Jim Grant isn’t sure what to expect in the dusty flatlands of Texas. What he isn’t expecting is trouble… but trouble is what he gets.
The visit to honor a fallen comrade turns into a mission to bring justice to a small town where a violent tyrant has oppressed the residents for far too long. Using only his instincts Grant must outsmart and outfight an army of Texans led by a kingpin with little to gain but everything to lose.
Acclaim for Colin Campbell
“Very real. And very good.” – LEE CHILD
“Campbell hits a high note.” – RT BOOK REVIEWS
“Packed with action and crackling dialogue.” – KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Campbell’s wry maverick Grant never fails to entertain.”- KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Sets up immediately and maintains a breakneck pace. It’s smart structure and unrelenting suspense will please Lee Child fans.”- LIBRARY JOURNAL REVIEW
About the author
Ex-policeman. Ex-soldier. International tennis player. And full-time crime novelist. Colin Campbell is a retired police officer in West Yorkshire, having tackled crime in one of the UK’s busiest cities for 30 years. He is the author of UK crime novels, Blue Knight White Cross and Northern Ex, and US thrillers, Jamaica Plain and Montecito Heights featuring rogue Yorkshire cop Jim Grant. He counts Lee Child and Matt Hilton among his fans. The third book in the series, Adobe Flats published earlier in September.