Anahuac – My Review

A Texas Story (Volume 2)
  Genre: Historical Fiction / Thriller
Publisher: Canned Peas Productions
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 244

Scroll down for the giveaway!


The Anahuac of 1972 is more than just an isolated outpost on Texas’s Trinity Bay – it’s a place where greed and justice uncomfortably intermingle, where the evangelical fervor of charismatic preachers resonate, where blacks and whites navigate a fragile co-existence, and where a murder leads to even darker mysteries than murder. 
Jim Ward, introduced in Morgan’s Point as a young, idealistic Houston prosecutor, returns in Anahuac as an older, more conflicted, more complicated man, coming to Anahuac to defend a man who appears guilty of a horrible crime. His discoveries lead to entanglements in the very nature of good and evil, in a town that is at once of its time and timeless, steeped in a history that is unexpectedly but definitively drawing Ward in its narrative web.

“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
“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
I’m a Texan originally from the east coast who’s had occasion to meet some of these characters from another planet. Darling weaves us through the minds of lawyers with jealousies, insecurities, questions of faith, honor, and guilt as they tackle the case of a horrible crime that has the potential to put a man of God away forever. I held on tight as we went through the engrossing trial, which did not disappoint! If you love history, crime, passion, religion, and suspense, this is a must read! – Kristy Recker (an Amazon reviewer)



Anahuac – My Review

The defendant is presumed innocent. The indictment is not evidence of guilt. The state’s burden is to prove guilt beyond a “reasonable doubt,” not all doubt. The jury is the judge of the credibility of the witnesses. The key words were in the circumstantial evidence paragraph.

Anahuac by author William Darling main foundation is a fast-paced journey of showing readers how small-town Texas law really worked in the 1970s. The story starts off with Sarita Jo Franklin, who was well known as a strong woman who didn’t back down from anyone. Immediately, I was drawn to her character, so much so that when she was killed off it left me longing to know more about her, but alas the author took me on another journey. Finding her true killer or did he?

That journey was well crafted into how small-town Texas justice really works. The larger than life character of Reverend Randall Clay who is accused of murdering Sarita fills pages with his devotions and beliefs in God, as well as his followers establishing New Jerusalem in the tiny town of Anahuac.

As Clay is indicted for the murder, the story begins to tell about the lives of the lawyers who were hired to defend Clay in the murder. The story goes into the details of their own insecurities as lawyers, friends, and spouses. I love the side story of Aurora and Cooper, who are the wives of the lawyers. You get a really good sense of how hard it was for them to be professional women even in the 1970s.

History, crime, and religion are richly interwoven in Anahuac. If you love fictional crime history with some truth added to it then you’ll love this book. My only problems with the book were with formatting and some proofreading. Overall, Darling’s story-telling voice shines in this fast-paced book giving you a sense of how small Texas town justice really worked and possibly is still evident today, along with just enough information to care about the characters.


William D. Darling is a lifelong storyteller and very nearly a native Texan, arriving in his beloved state as an infant in 1942. His first novel, Morgan’s Point, introduced readers to both the mid-‘60s rough-and-tumble world of the Houston courts where Darling came of age, and the Galveston Bay region that has long fascinated him. His latest novel Anahuac, serves as a sequel to Morgan’s Point as well as its own fascinating tale.
Darling, who has lived within the legislative bustle of Washington, D.C. and in the beauty of a Central Texas ranch, currently resides in Austin, where he and his wife have built a longstanding law practice.


January 12, 2018, 7:00PM

Anahuac Reading & Signing

Deep Vellum Books3000 Commerce StreetDallasTXUS 

January 20, 2018, 10:00AM

Anahuac Reading in Anahuac
William D. Darling brings it on home! He’ll read from Anahuac in the city where the new novel is set for the first time ever.
Chambers County Library202 Cummings StreetAnahuacTXUS 

February 17, 2018, 4:30PM
Anahuac Houston Release Event
William D. Darling will sign and read from Anahuac, celebrating the release of the book with friends and well-wishers in the city he once called home, as part of a multi-author event.
Murder by the Books2342 BissonnetHoustonTXUS 
January 5-January 14, 2018
(U.S. Only)


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