I’ve long admired the stories of Robert B. Parker and Lee Child, and some of the characters and plot ideas in this story are an amalgam of ideas I’ve had after reading their voluminous output. I think all writers are influenced by what they read. I certainly have been by these two craftsmen; this story was inspired with their characters and superb writing in mind.
As usual, my profound thanks to my several editors. Their efforts on my behalf enhance and enrich my writing, and I am indebted to them. Any mistakes found here in language or plot specifics are due entirely to my own errors, not theirs.
I cannot begin to express my thanks to Paco, a young artist of incredible talent who created the image seen at the beginning of this story. It’s easy to mistake some of the details in that drawing for a photograph, such is his artistry. As great as is his talent, he has an even bigger heart; he makes me humble.
Another word of thanks is hereby extended to a young man of incredible spirit and talent who was instrumental in the creation of this story. Sometimes writing can be an ineffable joy, and sometimes a real pain in the posterior; in that it’s like most human endeavors. This young man stayed on my case with every chapter of Dust I wrote, not letting my mood or effort falter. Without that, this story certainly wouldn’t have been finished till next year, and possibly never would have been at all. His contribution to this effort cannot be minimized.
And of course, thanks to you, the readers, who make my efforts worthwhile. Many names that show up in my mailbox have become familiar over the years as their owners have stayed the course with me. Your encouragement is both acknowledged and appreciated.