1994: Dirty White Boys

They busted out of McAlester State Penitentiary–three escaped convicts going to ground in a world unprepared for anything like them….Lamar Pye is prince of the Dirty White Boys. With a lion in his soul, he roars–for he is the meanest, deadliest animal on the loose…. Odell is Lamar’s cousin, a hulking manchild with unfeeling eyes. He lives for daddy Lamar. Surely he will die for him….Richard’s survival hangs on a sketch: a crude drawing of a lion and a half-naked woman. For this Lamar has let Richard live… Armed to the teeth, Lamar and his boys have cut a path of terror across the Southwest, and pushed one good cop into a crisis of honor and conscience. Trooper Bud Pewtie should have died once at Lamar’s hands. Now they’re about to meet again. And this time, only one of them will walk away…

Stephen Hunter onĀ Dirty White Boys:I had a hunger – literally, a taste in my mouth – for a work that would be starker, more driven, than my earlier books. I knew also that I wanted it ‘American’ somehow. I wanted a plot that gripped like a vise, expressed in a voice of lyric plainness. I wanted lots of violence, gunfights so incandescent they felt like fever dreams and left you sweaty. And when someone died, I wanted you to feel the pain.What I saw was a modern Western lawman, a state trooper; I saw boots and Berettas; I saw his family and his struggle to be a decent man at war with his impulses to be a satisfied one. I knew his name would be Bud. And I knew he’d be hunting an escaped convict. And I saw that man, too – Lamar Pye. He was everything other men secretly admire: He was as without fear as he was without remorse. In a kinder world, he’d have been a great soldier, an athlete. In the world into which he was born, he’d become a criminal, a bad, bad boy who would know only one thing about life: what to do next. With these two men – competing priests in the cult of manhood – the book took off and wrote itself. I wasn’t its author but its recording secretary.