Dead and Dying Angels
by Jim Mangum
Dead and Dying Angels is narrated by Jamey Maxwell who is about to commit suicide when the novel begins. Maxwell is an ex-customs agent who has lost his wife and two daughters and, in an effort to escape his grief, has moved to the tiny village of Dos Cruces, Texas, "located exactly in the middle of nowhere." Maxwell lives there, running a small oil and gas business left to him by his father, when strange things begin to happen, mostly bad things. As Maxwell says, "Purgatory for some lost souls may look a whole lot like Dos Cruces, Texas."
Maxwell blames it all on a deal he made with God when he was nine years old. He now realizes it was a one-sided agreement - and not in his favor. After he is implicated in a brutal rape and murder, Maxwell turns all his attention to clearing his name and tracking down the real murderers. With a voice that is fresh and wry and a story that is absolutely engrossing, Mangum takes on many of the fundamental questions of life - love, redemption, hope, despair, grief, vengeance, guilt, and God - while Maxwell takes the law into his own hands. Only one question remains: is Jamey Maxwell an avenging angel or is he insane?
Jim Mangum was born in Beeville, Texas, between World War II and the Korean War. He grew up in the small oil and gas towns of South Texas and attended Southwest Texas State University and Texas A&I, Kingsville.
Officially "retired" from public service, Mangum lives in Shiner,"the cleanest little city in Texas," home of the Shiner Brewery. He is a writer, "rescuer of wayward homes," and professional folk artist, making carved and painted patron saints, angels, Nativities, Noah´s Arks, and carousel animals which he creates and displays in his gallery.