“…there is no evidence of foul play…”

Two women die…one in a bizarre seizure-induced confrontation with a patrol officer near the grimy wharves of the Houston ship channel; the other is found floating in the bayou that runs through one of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods. There is no evidence of foul play. Both women are prostitutes–but they are from opposite ends of the city’s social scale.

Despite the suspicious similarities in the two cases, Houston homicide detective Stuart Haydon can’t even be sure he’s looking at murder. But when still another woman dies mysteriously, he begins a manhunt that sucks him into the seedy sexual underbelly of Houston and into a world of international high rollers and sexual slavery. With the help of Judith Croft, a beautiful call girl–who keeps her own secrets until the last moments of the novel–Haydon sets an ingenious, yet fragile, trap for outwitting a killer whose life is as unimaginable as the death he administers.


“… one of those books that just spilled out onto the page…”

A Cold Mind was one of those books that just spilled out onto the page, a one-of-a-kind novel that seemed to take on a life of its own from the opening words. It was my second effort at writing a novel, and the first book in which I introduce Houston homicide detective Stuart Haydon, a man who would become the protagonist of four more novels, and who began to develop a cult following from his very first appearance on page 7 of this novel.

I’ve always done a lot of research for my novels, and it was during my research for this book that I began working closely with several detectives in the Houston Police Department’s Homicide Division. It was a fascinating opportunity, because at that time Houston was booming, and it’s homicide rate earned it the dubious title of the “homicide capital of the nation.” I continued to work with the detectives in the homicide division throughout the ’80s and ’90s. I could write a book about that experience as well.

As for my fictional homicide detective, I still get asked the question: “Will you ever bring back Stuart Haydon?”