Franklin Royce is an alcoholic prison doctor charged with overseeing the capitol punishment of a young black male who seems curiously indiffenent to his grisly fate. Dr. Royce becomes convinced that his expertise is brought to bear on the death of an innocent man. On the lam from his wrecked marriage and bottom-of-the-barrel madical practice, Royce sets out to discover the origin of the executed prisoner's travail. The sojourn constitutes nothing less than a full scale descent into the maelstrom. The fallen doctor stumbles into a Dallas, Texas hell-world he'd never in his wildest imagininings expected. Royce finds himself mired in an impersonal, exceedinly violent, sociopath inferno fueled by ugly sex and despicable crimes, a chamber of horrors in which only the doctor's seemingly inexhaustible supply of morphine acts as a soothing agent.
With sharp humor and a poet's ear for language, Nisbet's world may be bleak, but it is frighteningly real.