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Billy Bob Holland Books In Order

Publication Order of Billy Bob Holland Books

Cimarron Rose (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Heartwood (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bitterroot (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Moon of Red Ponies (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The Billy Bob Holland series is a series of mystery and detective fiction novels written by one of the popular authors from America named James Lee Burke. This series is comprised of 4 books in total, which were published between the years 1997 and 2004. Each and every novel in the series features the main protagonist in the form of Billy Bob Holland, who is described by the author as an attorney from Deaf Smith, Texas. He is also a former Texas Ranger. The fictional character of Bob Holland is one of the popular characters developed author James Lee Burke, the other famous ones being Hackberry Holland and Dave Robicheaux. The latter ones are depicted in different mystery series developed by author Burke. The Billy Bob Holland series is connected to the mystery series of Hackberry Holland as author Burke has described Hackberry and Billy Holland as cousins. Living in the small town of Deaf Smith in Texas, Billy Holland seems to be trying to overcome his nightmare in which he had killed his partner accidentally when he used to work as a Texas Ranger. Later in the series, he finds out that his estranged son has been charged with raping and murdering a lady and this causes Billy’s life to turn upside down. The critics believe that the character of Billy Holland is just like author James Burke’s other popular creation, Dave Ribocheaux. Just like him, Billy appears to be a troubled gentleman. He seems to be haunted by his ancestors’ violent personality.

Billy Holland fears that it might be true legacy. Apart from this, he also looks haunted because of his own troubled past in which his partner got accidentally killed by him on duty. The officer, L.O. Navarro, was not just a partner, but also the best friend of Billy Holland. Throughout the series, his ghost makes frequent appearances to discuss the events of the days in Billy’s life as well as his ongoing guilt. Before becoming a defense lawyer in a small town, Billy used to work as a street officer, a federal prosecutor, and a Texas Ranger. As an attorney, he refuses to take the cases of defending the drug trafficker as he thinks that this adds nobility to his profession. Billy Holland is abetted and aided in his cases by his friend, neighbor, and private investigator named Temple Carol. She admits that she has some feelings in her heart for Billy, but does not seem to care about it as he does not have any time for himself. Just like the previous novel series written by author James Burke, this series too depicts his descriptive lyrical touch that brings to life the settings of the plots in west Texas. Author James Lee Burke also brings the unapologetically poetic and unflinching eye to the town of Missoula, Montana, where he has set the third book of the series titled ‘Bitteroot’. With this novel, author Burke decided to move to the western region of Montana and pen down an intriguing novel based on the experiences of his law practice. All the mystery books in this series show that author James Burke is indeed a very good and talented writer. His novels are a pleasure to read for his fans, who tend to follow him as well as his characters anywhere from all across the world.

The first book in the Billy Holland series written by author Jamkes Burke was published under the title ‘Cimarron Rose’. It was released by the Hyperion publication in the year 1997. At the beginning of this book, it is shown that Billy Holland must confront his past life in order to prevent his illegitimate son from getting convicted in a murder case. The brilliant and fast pace thriller novel shows how Billy Holland makes the best use of his profession as a Texas attorney and saves his son. Lucas Smothers, who is only 19 years old and hails from a dark end of the town, gets arrested for raping and murdering one of the local girls. At first, Billy seems reluctant to take up the case but then agrees. After talking to Lucas, he seems pretty much convinced that he is innocent and wrongly convicted in the case. But proving it will be a difficult job for him as he will be required to unearth the truth from a pile of corruption and deceit that appears to have spread in the gossipy town like a wildfire. People in the town always try to poke their noses into other people’s business and this cause a lot of trouble for Billy Holland to win the case. The relationship of Billy Holland with the family of Lucas does not appear to be an easy one. A few years back, he was a very close friend of Lucas’ mother, which developed into an affair. In the meantime, Lucas comes to know about the stories of serial murders from the talks in a neighboring cell of the jail. Due to this, he becomes a target for murder. Also, Billy Holland seems to have made far more dangerous enemies than from his days as a Texas Ranger by agreeing to take up the case of Lucas.

The second book of the series is titled as ‘Heartwood’ and was published by the Island Books publication in the year 1999. At the start of the book, author James Burke has depicted that Heartwood is a type of tree which grows in the form of layers. Billy Holland’s had told him once that you should do well in your life by keeping your roots in clear streams and should not let the water tainted by anyone for you. In the small hill country town of Deaf Smith located to the north of Austin, there is a local kingpin named Earl Deitrich, who seems to have grown a fortune by carrying out roughshod business and tainting the ones who came in his way. Billy Holland seems to have problems with this man and his shameless and callous demeanor. But, his hands are tied as he cannot bring down his passionate legacy for Deitrich’s beautiful wife named Peggy Jean. Later, Billy goes on to take up a case for defending a man named Wilbur Pickett. Wilbur is accused of stealing bonds worth 3000 dollars and an heirloom from the office of Earl Deitrich. Billy thinks that he is innocent and has been framed by Deitrich and his goons. But, by agreeing to take the defense case, Billy Holland has not only landed himself against the influence and power of Earl Deitrich, but also against a past that he cannot afford to get discovered.

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