This appears to be the first book in a series featuring John Bookman, known as Book for short. He is a university professor lecturing in Constitutional Law at the University of Texas, hence the title of the book. He is a bit of a loose cannon, reminding me of Jack Reacher in Lee Child’s books, although much better educated. Book is an expert at Taekwondo, which helps him get out of the tricky situations he sometimes finds himself in.
Book is a famous professor, appearing on television and having written several books on the subject of constitutional law and therefore gets many letters asking for help and I would think that these are going to provide the basis for more books in the future. Book has discovered that he has a mutant gene that means he will eventually get Alzheimer’s Disease, and so is determined never to get married and have children, in case he passes on the gene to them. It also makes him unafraid of dying, which makes him rather Gung Ho when finding himself in dangerous situations.
So, this story starts when he receives a letter from a former intern of his, saying that he has proof that illegal fracking is taking place in his town of Marfa, in south Texas.
An intern (which I had to look up) is a senior student who is attached to a professor as his assistant during their last term at the University.
Apparently, this intern, Nathan Jones, who is working as a lawyer for the firm of Dunn & Co, saved Book’s life when he was Book’s intern, so naturally he wants to go and help him. We only learn later in the book as to how Nathan saved Book’s life.
So, off he goes on his Harley Davidson motorbike, taking Nadine Honeywell, his current young female intern with him on the pillion seat.
When they get to Marfa they find that Nathan was killed in a road accident the night before, and although the Sheriff says that he ran off the road at high speed and hit an oil derrick, Book is sure that it was murder. And so Book sets out to find where this proof is of the illegal fracking that no one knows anything about, and who killed Nathan Jones. His suspicions lie with Billy Bob Burnett, the head of the biggest fracking firm in the area, and the main client of Nathan’s firm of lawyers.
He has Nadine to help him and also Carla Kent, an environmental news reporter who has her own reasons for wanting to see the stopping of the fracking firm run by Billy Bob Burnett. And so we follow his adventures until they reach a dramatic conclusion on the shore of the Rio Grande River on the border between Texas and Mexico.
Mark Gimenez has written several books set in this area, which he obviously knows well.
I like this new character of his, Professor Bookman and I look forward to reading more of his books. You certainly learn a lot about fracking in this book, which is very interesting seeing how it is starting in our country now. What is not so interesting is all the stuff about constitutional law which is boring and really unnecessary, unless you are an American interested in their law