Author: Richard Roach
Title: Scattered Leaves
Paperback: 336 pages
When Ben McCord comes home from a business trip to find his young wife raped and murdered, he starts out on a journey of death and destruction. Clues lead him to a dark world of drugs and violence in action that spans Texas, Colorado, and the Mexican border. McCord hooks up with a beautiful doctor, who was also victimized by members of the same drug cartel, and together they track down the killers, surviving bloody confrontations, and ending with a suspenseful climax in the Big Thicket of Texas.
Suspense/Mystery author Richard Roach was born in 1931 in Galveston, Texas. Short stories of his have been published in Man’s Story 2, Happy 2007, Vol. 20 and Bibliophilos 2006, Vol. 42. His first novel, Scattered Leaves, hit the book stores on September 1, ’08, and his second novel, Scattered Money, will be published in 2009.
You can visit his website at www.richarderoach.com.
The drilling rig was located fourteen miles northeast of Elk City , Oklahoma. It was about a quarter to midnight when I drove the Chevy onto the boarded location, a few hundred feet off the main gravel road. As the car door opened into the clear, chill November night, the blast from the power rig’s engines slammed into my ears.
At once I spotted the driller in his tin hat, blue overalls, and a thick jacket against the cold, raising and lowering the brake on the huge draw-works as he worked the drill pipe. Each time he moved the brake, the twelve-line, yellow traveling block allowed one hundred and sixty tons of drill pipe and collars to lurch another few inches downward in the hole. I looked up, toward the bright lights of the massive steel derrick reaching up into the night sky, and saw the large, yellow rotary bushing high above the rig’s floor, still attached to the kelly and turning slowly to the right. The forty-foot mud hose pulsed with each stroke of the mud-pump. At the driller’s signal, the floor hands removed the slips, and the driller sat the rotary bushing back into its seat.
I thought they might have pulled into a key-seat, or somehow got stuck and were trying to work the pipe loose. I ran to the laboratory where the mud loggers worked and jerked the door open. “What the hell’s happening? Why are they circulating?” I yelled out to the logger on duty.
“We had a bunch of gas in that last sand!” the logger shouted back. “The damn mud started coming to see us, and they shut the hydrill. They’re trying not to get stuck! But the gas just keeps right on building. When they slug it, the pressure kicks the mud out of the hole. I called the driller on the squawk box and warned him it’s gonna’ blow, but he’s too shook up to listen, he didn’t even answer. The methane’s already past five percent! What do we do?”