The sequel to Morgan’s Point:

Out now as an audiobook via Audible, or in print/Kindle formats via Amazon

(Or, get it free on Audible with a 30-day trial)

The second book in the Jim Ward series brings readers back to the same territory expertly detailed in Morgan’s Point, fast forwarding to 1972. A spinster living on an isolated ranch is murdered, and when authorities from the nearby town of Anahuac investigate, a literally-blood-drenched preacher turned radio evangelist becomes the main suspect. Ward, on his first day of private practice, takes on the defense of the Rev. Randall Clay, and is swept into a world of greed, religious fervor, mysterious players with perplexing motivations, and with Darling’s prior novel, a changing national culture meeting head on with the literal backwaters and backwoods of Galveston Bay.

Praise for Anahuac

“It’s worth seeking out for those who occasionally find the Texas criminal-justice system as entertaining as it is infuriating . . . Darling, an assistant district attorney in mid-’60s Houston, writes with a good-ol’-boy gentility that cuts through the legalese.”

Houston Chronicle

“Austin writer William D. Darling’s second novel, Anahuac, is an entertaining, engrossing legal thriller that offers both darkly humorous and good-natured thrusts at life, love, and law . . . first-rate reading, especially for readers who enjoy legal thrillers, lawyer procedurals, suspense, Texas settings, and characters who live large.”

Lone Star Literary Life

“History, crime, and religion are richly interwoven in Anahuac, [in which] Darling’s story-telling voice shines. If you love fictional crime history with some truth added to it then you’ll love this fast-paced journey showing readers how small-town Texas law really worked in the 1970s.”

Forgotten Winds

“All of the characters in Anahuac are well-crafted and fascinating including an eccentric and independent ranch woman, an evangelical preacher with a shady business manager, an old man with old money, and a small-town sheriff with a big hold over the town. Despite a large cast, Darling does an outstanding job of defining the players and making each unique and memorable and familiar to readers. Readers get not only a clear visual but a peek at what makes these multi-layered characters tick.

The plot was unexpected and unconventional and a real delight . . . Anahuac is a top-notch story, and the story deserves a full five stars.”

Hall Ways

“Darling draws vivid portraits of his setting while also bringing in historical currents like women’s liberation, the growth of container shipping, and the rise of the prosperity gospel, adding interest to what’s otherwise a fairly simple courtroom drama.”

Kirkus Reviews


The first book in the Jim Ward series, out now

This novel introduced the world to Jim Ward, the troubled protagonist of this series that integrates suspense, crime stories, and even romance into the decidedly Texas settings of Houston and Galveston Bay—including the small town that gives the book it’s title. Ward, haunted by a childhood tragedy involving the deaths of two young girls, tries to exorcise those demons. He pursues a law career to seek justice for others. He marries Cooper Faircloth, the only daughter of a newspaper and oil tycoon. And yet his past encroaches on his present, opening up existential questions of predestination vs. free will, as well as unveiling a mystery that threatens to transform a Texas town already on the brink of the irreversible changes the 1960s will bring.

Order the paperback version or Kindle version via Amazon.