On August 18, 1882, Joe La Fleur discovered a gold-bearing quartz vein near
the headwaters of War Creek, high in the Cascade Range of Washington State.
Later the same day . . . he lost it. One hundred and thirty years later, geologist
Trace Brandon re-discovers the vein, guarded by a skeleton with a flint
arrowhead imbedded in a femur, and a carved wooden owl-admonitions not to
desecrate hallowed ground.
Ignoring the warnings, Brandon stakes a number of mining claims and begins
drilling-only to see two of his men murdered in a grisly, ritualistic manner. The
situation soon goes from bad to worse when Brandon’s old nemesis, Mafia don
Peter Pantelli, learns of the discovery and devises a ruthless plan to eliminate
Brandon and take control of the mining claims.
Brandon is caught between forces he can’t comprehend and treachery he
understands all too well . . .
Legend of War Creek now available at amazon.com & kindle
"The plot and its pitfalls, along with the author's quirky characters, put one in mind
of some of Elmore Leonard’s tawdry tales or Tony Hillerman's engaging Native
American mysteries." -- The US Review of Books
Forced out of the DEA after twenty years, Hardin Steel, Stainless to his close
friends, has managed to get himself elected Sheriff of Cameron County, Texas.
Twice divorced, with a bit of a drinking problem, he’s now dating Rory
Roughton, a fiery sixth-generation Texan who’s as rich as she is beautiful-and
hell-bent on keeping Steel on the straight and narrow. But then his best friend,
Wes Stoddard, is nearly shot down flying in a load of pot, Rory is kidnapped by
a Russian mercenary working for the most dangerous cartel in Mexico, and the
Cuban Mafia decides they’d like the former DEA agent---dead.
Steel is forced to take unsanctioned, unconventional---and mostly illegal---
action in order to save himself and those closest to him . . .
“south of good is a damned fine novel. I grew up in Texas and hung with
the DEA guys, and believe me when I say that Randall Reneau knows the
territory.” - Jake Needham, bestselling author of The Big Mango and
The King of Macau.
South of good available at amazon.com & kindle
South of Good
by Randall Reneau
reviewed by Anita Lock
"In less than ten days, I'd gone from being a sworn law enforcement
officer to a co-conspirator in a drug deal."
RECOMMENDED by US Review of Books
"An effervescent ride chock-full of memorable action and characters." --
Reviewed by Karyn Saemann
October 29, 2014
This intelligent, well-written drug thriller is also wickedly funny.
south of good named runner-up at Florida Book Festival!
Geologist Trace Brandon and his partner Will Coffee are just back from Liberia, West
Africa. Cashed-up and looking for a new venture, they once again team up with Cyrus
“The Virus” McSweeny. This time the quarry is the silver-rich ore of the old Ruby
Mining District. And this time they’ll not only have the Pantelli crime family to deal
with, but also lumberman Autry Ollinger-three hundred pounds of obnoxiousness
whose preferred method of negotiation is a right hook. When the Pantellis unleash a
bizarre extortion plot to seize control of Ruby Mining Company, Cyrus is forced to
bring former clandestine operative Marion Thistlewaite out of retirement. Marion’s
unique expertise may give them the edge they need to hold on to their company . . .
and their lives.
“A bloody showdown . . .
Old West style.”
RUBY SILVER available at amazon.com & kindle
First reviews are coming in!
5.0 out of 5 stars Action, Adventure, Mystery, and you'll learn a little something too!, February 24, 2014
This review is from: Ruby Silver (Trace Brandon) (Kindle Edition)
Ruby Silver is my first Randall Reneau book and I have to say, I was thrilled with the story. Ruby Silver had an almost western feel to it without truly being a western.
Set in modern times in a mining town that Trace Brandon is trying to revitalize, this story had some action, some mystery, and some geological education.
Reneau puts his experience as a geologist to good use in this story as he paints a clear and beautiful picture of how things work in a silver mine. Pair that with an
action hero reminiscent of James Patterson’s Alex Cross and James Rollins Gray Pierce and you have one outstanding story.
Reneau takes you through the startup of Trace Brandon’s latest mining venture both on the economic and the geological fronts. He doesn’t stop there, he make sure
you feel the pressure as Trace and his partners face the danger of getting in bed with a mobster.
Don’t miss this excellent read.
Ruby Silver receives "Honorable Mention" at the Hollywood Book Festival!
"Diamond Fields is a rare find; one of the best adventure tales this side of
Treasure Island. If Robert Louis Stevenson was from Texas, his name would be
Randall Reneau." -- Kinky Friedman, “Governor of Central Texas.”
DIAMOND FIELDS available at amazon.com, kindle & Barnes & Noble!
Geologist Trace Brandon has traded mining in Washington State for the sunshine
and warm waters of the Cayman Islands. For the past year, his only encounters
with crooks have been social, and no one has tried to kill him. But a phone call
from Cyrus “the Virus” McSweeny lures Trace into a dangerous new mining
project. This time the quarry is West African alluvial diamonds: rare and extremely
In the steamy backwater city of Monrovia, Trace and his partner, Will Coffee,
team up with expat mining engineer Gordon Watson and an Idaho potato-farmer-
turned-diamond-miner known as the “Mormon.” Together, they will make an
extraordinary find-what miners call a “First Water Stone.”
When rebels attempt a coup, Trace and his partners are caught up in violence and
treachery that threaten to engulf them all…
Reviewed by: Celina Cuadro
Randall Reneau's Diamond Fields is non-stop action, exotic places, and the adrenalin rush of high-risk high-reward. I could not put this down - this is the kind of read that eats up the miles of a long
trip. Despite lots of action and plenty of detail Mr. Reneau writes in an easy-to-follow style, and whether he was talking about equipment for diamond prospecting, negotiating with the village
headman, or insurgent tactical preparations, I could follow things just fine. Mr. Reneau's character Trace Brandon started getting a following because of the previous novel Deadly Lode, and picking
up this second book I was concerned I would not understand what was going on. Diamond Fields is independent of the first book however, and after enjoying this stand-alone story, I am considering
checking out the previous adventure.
Midwest Book Review 08/13/2013
Diamond Fields is an exciting, action-packed novel of bloodshed and riches. Geologist Trace Brandon thought he had retired from mining for good... until he hears from Cyrus "The Virus"
McSweeny, whose honeyed words lure Brandon into a miner's minefield! In search of rare, extraordinarily precious green diamonds, Brandon, expat mining engineer Gordon Watson, and a
mysterious former potato farmer who calls himself "Mormon" team up to search the searches of West Africa. But when violent rebels attempt a coup, Brandon and his associates are trapped in
the crosshairs of a deadly upheaval! Diamond Fields is highly recommended, and compelling to the very last page.
Deadly Lode has won the 2012 - Richard Boes Award.
Awarded annually by Reader Views to the best debut novel by a veteran.
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Deadly Lode November 5, 2012
Deadly Lode hit high gear in the first chapter and never slowed down. Lots of action, great characters, multi twists and turns. If you are familiar with the mining business, you will love the book, if not,
you definitely will be by the end of the book. Besides being filled with shootings, cheats, crooks, bad guys, good guys, pretty women, really bad guys...Deadly Lode takes you on a step by step
“Deadly Lode is a timely page-turner in the style of Clive Cussler."
- Ken Hodgson, award winning author of The Man Who Killed Shakespeare.
“The pace is fast, the dialogue snappy and deception lurks at every turn."
- Sheldon Russell, award winning author of DEAD MAN'S TUNNEL.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Stuff November 5, 2012
I found Deadly Lode a wealth of information on mineral exploration and production. How it is discovered and then how it comes into production. I found the characters, trading in the shares of stock as
it hit the market, a clever study of human nature. "The good, the bad and the ugly." I am looking forward for more from Randall Reneau.
Geologist Trace Brandon's serendipitous discovery of the long forgotten Sullivan Mine comes with more than high grade uranium and gold ore. When ex-con and penny mining stock promoter, Cyrus"The Virus" McSweeny, finds out about Brandon's new mining claims, he formulates an underhanded plan to gain an interest in the mine.
To further complicate matters, one of Brandon's shareholders, Richard Rosenburg, is into a New Orleans crime family for a cool million. And they want Rosy's shares in Brandon's new company--Montana Creek Mining.
As Brandon begins to drill out the rich orebody, his shareholders start dying. And not from natural causes. The exotic nature of the murders catches the attention of FBI Special Agent Beau Monroe. But it's the world class uranium grades that catch Hong Kong based Lei Chang's eye. Chang wants the uranium reserves for his Chinese backed mining company. And he doesn't care how he gets them.
Brandon is forced to forge some rather unorthodox alliances to maintain control of the Sullivan Mine . . . and to stay alive.