HILL COUNTRY SIREN

Check out this gallery of scenes from the book

Sophie Tyler plays ACL in Hill Country Siren

Thousands of concertgoers passed us on their way to the main gate, their faces bright, eager to get inside.

 

Joe meets Adrian Williams at Austin Java and agrees to look into Sophie Tyler's finances.

I met Rico Carrillo and Adrian Williams at Austin Java on Barton Springs Road.

“Where does she live?” said Rico.

“Beverly Hills.”

“Not exactly a middle-class neighborhood.”

Date palms line Canyon Drive.

Adrian drove the Escalade on Canon Drive. Tall date palms lined each side of the street.

Sophie Tyler's neighborhood

Adrian crossed through the intersection with Sunset Boulevard and kept driving north on Benedict Canyon Drive.

Sophie sat comfortably, her long, pale legs crossed, one jackboot resting on top of the other. She seemed content to people-watch from behind the sunglasses.

Tupelo Train plays as the Austin Ventures stage

A man stepped forward. “There’s a rumor on the web that Bryan Slater was murdered last night. Is that true?”

Everything stopped. Sophie looked at him. Her lips turned down and began to tremble. She dropped the pen.

Zilker Park is transformed for the ACL music festival

They play Sophie's old hits to warm up the crowd

When Sophie walked onstage the crowd greeted her with whoops and whistles and applause.

Driving across the Devil's Backbone on Ranch Road 32

I drove west on State Highway 80 to Ranch Road 12 and then on toward the Devil’s Backbone.

Joe sees pear cactus on the drive out to the Devil's Backbone

“The land was hard out that way: dry, white, crusty limestone rock; rolling hills; curvy two-lane paved roads; lots of pear cactus; barbed-wire fences; and scrawny trees.”

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As I drove through the scrub oaks and pear cactus I saw them: circling vultures.

Joe asks for help from Gigi Juarez, a local real estate, at Lorenzillo's

Our waiter wore black pants, a white shirt, and a red tie. We ordered wine and a light appetizer.

Joe finds Hector Romero at the lobby bar of Los Cabos Royale resort

I arrived at Los Cabos Royale a little before eight, just in time for the rush at the bar.

Sophie once owned a Cabo Dream house like one of these

I climbed the dunes to get closer. The string of cons against Sophie began with this house.

Joe finds Halet Blevins at his condominium on Wilshire Boulevard

I pulled into the drive and noticed flashing lights. Three patrol cars sat parked outside the lobby.

The picnic area at Krause Springs

Krause Springs is nothing fancy, an old campground with a spring-fed swimming pool, picnic area, and natural springs. We chose a table beneath tall cypress trees.

We crossed the stream at the top of the pool and left our towels in the sun.

We crossed the stream at the top of the pool and left our towels in the sun.

Sanjay tries the rope swing at Krause Springs.

Chandler shrieked as she released the rope at its furthest extension. She formed a perfect cannonball and made a big splash.

The heat of the rock warmed my feet. Playtime with family rejuvenates the soul.