Author: Edward Wright

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Book:Red Sky Lament

Red Sky Lament: A John Ray Horn Mystery

Edward Wright

Los Angeles, late 1940s: As brush fires begin to eat at the dry grass in the hills rimming the San Fernando Valley, a more ominous threat is taking shape. All over Hollywood, the U.S. government is ordering people to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee as part of the crusade to uncover Communist influence in the movies.

John Ray Horn has little use for politics, but as a former B-movie cowboy star who fell into prison and disgrace, he knows a few things about outsiders. And when his ex-lover Maggie O’Dare asks him to come to the aid of an old friend of hers who has been targeted by the committee, he can’t refuse. Owen Bruder, a brilliantly talented but notoriously difficult screenwriter, is accused of having belonged to the Communist Party—a charge he strongly denies. If Horn can discover Bruder’s secret accuser, they might have a chance to clear his name. But no one is willing to talk. People are scared—perhaps more frightened than they…[more]

Book:Damnation Falls

Damnation Falls

Edward Wright

Randall Wilkes, his big-city journalism career in ruins, has returned after twenty years to Pilgrim’s Rest, the Tennessee hill town where he grew up. He has taken on a lucrative but low-prestige writing job for Sonny McMahan, a former governor and Randall’s boyhood friend, whose own career is under a shadow and who needs a ghost-written autobiography to ease his way back into politics. Faye McMahan, Sonny’s mother, is addled with age, imagining that her dead husband is alive and worrying that her son might be in danger. Amid a violent autumn storm, Randall finds Faye hideously murdered, hanged by the neck from a bridge over the town landmark called Damnation Falls. Within days, another person connected to the McMahan clan is murdered in an even more grisly fashion. And the bones of a third, long-buried murder victim—a young woman—have emerged from the earth.

Randall’s ties to the victims force him to acknowledge debts that go back decades. Drawing on his investigative skills and his roots in the region, he sets out to discover who is behind the killings. His search takes him the length of the state—a land once split by civil war, where history lies close to the surface and tales of murder and betrayal weigh heavily on the town of Pilgrim’s Rest. Before all the answers are in, more people will die, an old score will be settled, and the dead will finally tell their stories.

Book:While I Disappear

While I Disappear: A John Ray Horn Novel

Edward Wright

John Ray Horn is still working for his former sidekick, the Indian Joseph Mad Crow, recovering gambling debts and adding extra muscle when Joseph finds himself in a bad situation. One night they go to a small, seedy bar to intimidate a man who has been bothering Joseph’s niece, a waitress at his casino. As they leave, a woman clutching a highball glass says, “You don’t remember me, do you, John Ray?” By the time Horn places this faded beauty from his past, she’s disappeared. Tracking her down, he’s shocked to find his former costar Rose Galen in such diminished circumstances.

Young, beautiful, and improbably talented for her B-movie surroundings, Rose played the female lead in Horn’s second film as cowboy Sierra Lane. Now Rose is a shattered creature, drink-sodden and heavy with sadness. Something happened to her years ago, long before she met Horn, that has left her broken. Something she was once able to conceal. Hoping to uncover her long-kept…[more]

Book:Clea's Moon

Clea's Moon: A John Ray Horn Novel

Edward Wright

John Ray Horn used to be Sierra Lane, hero to countless youngsters who faithfully watched his B westerns. Now, after two years in prison, he lives on the margins of postwar Los Angeles. His wife has left him. Blacklisted by the studios, he makes ends meet by collecting debts for a gambler, who just happens to be his old Indian sidekick from the movies. Then things happen to shake Horn out of his cynicism and self-pity.

Scotty Bullard, an old friend, contacts Horn soon after the death of his own father, a powerful real estate developer. Among the elder Bullard’s possessions Scotty has found a collection of obscene photographs of underage girls, one of whom he thinks is Clea, Horn’s stepdaughter before his divorce.

Within two days, Scotty is dead, having fallen—or been pushed—from his apartment window. And soon after, Horn’s…[more]

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