We’ve looked at several of the characters in the Lawman series, but one we’ve danced around some is the character of Detective RJ Madril. He was a featured in the last half of The Cross and the Badge, and is a central character in Dead Friends.  Now that Dead Friends is in final edit, and slated for a 1 Sep publication date, I’ve begun work on RJ’s standalone adventure Dead Cold.

RJ is based on my real life law enforcement partner Toby Madrid Jr. Everyone calls him JR. I just flipped things around a little in the name.

In a lot of ways, he’s the exact opposite of Will Diaz. He doesn’t have a lot of the mental  and emotional baggage Will does. His relationship with his family was always first class. He never went to war or the military, and is much more at ease on the street than Will is. He speaks excellent Spanish, and has a degree in the subject. He’s very level headed, smart, and loyal as a friend.

When the curtain goes up in Dead Friends, he’s still a patrol deputy sheriff. Will’s car is in the shop, and so they’re riding together. These two men think of each other as brothers, not just friends. In the first chapter, they find themselves staring down a would be armed robber.

Later we find he plays guitar, and there’s a relationship between him and Pam Harmon, the Town Marshal of Sanford. If asked, they’ll claim they’re friends, but it’s very obvious they enjoy each others company.

RJ’s paycheck comes from a lot of different pots and he wears several different hats. One is as county emergency manager. As such, he often finds himself working alongside fire rescue, and running search and rescue operations. In Dead Cold, we’ll see him riding in the back of an Air Force helicopter, leading an attempt to rescue and aged hunter trapped in the mountains by the storm. His mission overlaps with events in Dead Friends, and he has to bring the helicopter in to rescue Will and Jonesy.

And he’s multi-tasking like crazy at this point. In addition to running rescue ops, he’s handling the investigation of a woman whose husband Will and Jonesy are now pursuing through the mountains.

Like will, I plan on keeping him riding for a very long time.