With Dead Friends being cleaned up and final edit before publishing in the not too distant future, I’m turning my thoughts to Family Secrets, the next couple of books in the Lawman series.

I have a huge problem with the beginning, namely it happened pretty much the way I reported it in the rough draft. A son (who happened to be my cousin) used a baseball bat to kill his abusive father by beating him to death while he slept. While I quickly take the story into the realm of fiction, the story is too close to what happened.

I don’t need to be psychic to  say, “I see lawyers.”

So to the rewrite.

One of the things I establish early on is the son (Tomas) does kill him. I also established the father is just the first in a number of people who were sexual predators, murderers, dope pushers, basically people who the world would be better off without.

Tomas had escaped this world promising his mom he’d get her out of the mess. He enlisted in the Marines and spent seven or eight years planning his revenge and fulfilling his promise.

I establish in Dead Friends that Will Diaz ran into Tomas in Kuwait during the Gulf War.  They’d spent a couple of hours getting to know one another (Will had only run into him once before, when his cousin was ten), had lunch, and Will walked away glad he’d gotten to know him. He thought of his cousin as a nice guy, tough for a Marine, and courageous.

So one of the other problems I had with the original version was that didn’t jibe with Tomas. Tomas wouldn’t have beat him death while he slept. He’d have viewed that as the act of a coward. He’d have wanted the man to see it coming. So I rewrote the scene so it’s not nearly as close to reality as the first version was.

Will, at first, thought his young cousin had flipped out. But in the course of the investigations, he, RJ, and his team and family find themselves confronted with truths they did know existed. They’re up to their eyeballs in a war against an enemy that will stop at nothing to obtain it’s goal.

And he  finds that he and his cousin are fighting the same war, only coming at it from different directions. Will comes to the shocking realization that Tomas, a man he should be hunting to give a one way ticket to death row, is the enemy of his enemies, and that makes him a friend.

So stay tuned.