The Transgressors by Jim Thompson
Trade paperback format.
Deputy sheriff Tom Lord knows by now that far-west Texas is the place he’ll always call home. He’s spent too much time in the region’s small towns to adapt to another place. And that’s all right with him. What’s not all right is being a deputy sheriff, where if it weren’t for family misfortune, he might have been a doctor instead.
Lord’s got one ace-in-the-hole — the land deed that makes him the biggest landowner in the county, just as the oil companies have started to move in.
When Tom’s approached by Aaron McBride of Highlands Oil and Gas with a contract to set up pipelines on his property, he’s more than happy to sign on the dotted line with barely more than a cursory glance at the paperwork — it just might be Lord’s way out of a life he never wanted in the first place.
But when Lord finds out just what that contract entailed, things start to go sour for Aaron McBride — and fast. Because in this Texas town, Lord’s the law — and there’s nothing more dangerous than a cop with nothing left to lose.