Dragon Marks Eight
A Nights on Fire Novel
By Gary Clifton
In the mid 1980s, Kobok, a hard drinking, cynical, veteran ATF Agent, is caught between an inept supervisor and a system that demands results to avoid transfer to Butte, Montana, or a duty station where mail comes monthly by tramp steamer. Under the gun to produce a major case, he’s summoned to an arson homicide in an affluent Dallas neighborhood where the only survivor is the ex-stripper wife of the victim, the owner of a brassiere factory.
The ghastly crime scene discloses two pre-teen sons also dead in the debris. Kobok discovers a child’s journal depicting what appears to be a game involving mythical characters and a twelve-sided dice. Thinking it might shed light on lives of a dysfunctional family, he tucks the journal away, but it soon drifts out of mind.
With a rookie agent partner, weeks out of the academy, and Bull Hooper, a hard-nosed, kick-ass Dallas Homicide Detective, he wends his way along the seamy underside of Dallas, through strip clubs, an outlaw biker gang war, a variety of back alley characters, and sudden, deadly violence. In the end, he realizes with sobering clarity that what seems to be, often isn’t, and the journal scribbling of a child exposed to horrors beyond his comprehension, could be more insightful than any reasoning mind could possibly understand.