Deep Background

Book Cover



Rick Treon

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True Detective meets Sharp Objects. When reporter Levi Cole returns to his rural Texas hometown to help a colleague and married ex-girlfriend report on a ritualistic murder, he finds out he’s caught in a deep conspiracy that will force him to examine the nature of power and justice.


Suspense / Thriller, Mystery, Detective, Crime, Political,,Suspense/Thriller

Short Summary

Political reporter Levi Cole is forced out of his cushy job in Dallas by anonymous tipsters who highlight fabrications in his old stories. He returns home to regroup and win back a married ex-coworker, Kat Hallaway, by helping her cover the grisly murder of a girl in his rural Texas hometown.


The Texas Panhandle and Dallas

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Twist,,Philosophical Questions

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence, Incest, Language/Profanity, Nudity, Sexual Abuse, Substance Abuse,Sexual Abuse, Language/Profanity,Incest

Main Character Details

Name: Levi Cole

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Secretive, Charming, Complex, Confident, Desperate, Engaging, Manipulative, Narcissistic,Seductive,Desperate,Confident

Additional Character Details

Name: Kat Hallaway

Age: 33

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Badass, Beautiful, Desperate, Sarcastic, Outspoken, Seductive, Sexy, Aggressive, Blunt, Complex, Educated, Engaging, Unapologetic,Aggressive,Sarcastic,Funny,Skillful,Sexy

Additional Character Details

Name: Ace Anderson

Age: 37

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Secretive, Charming, Confident, Funny, Leader, Masculine, Narcissistic,Masculine,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Leader,Manipulative,Skillful,Narcisstic,Villainous

Additional Character Details

Name: Shawn Nichols

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Uneducated, Aggressive, Complex, Skillful, Narcissistic, Secretive, Unapologetic, Villainous, Crazy, Criminal, Manipulative

About The Author

Rick Treon is the award-winning author of Deep Background and the Bartholomew Beck thriller series, including the novel Let the Guilty Pay and prequel novella Live with the Truth. His short story, The Other Man's Daughter, was published in the Texas High Plains Writers 2020 centennial anthology, With Words We Weave: Celebrating the Past. Rick's essays have been syndicated across Gannett Media and featured on literary websites The Thrill Begins and He has also written for journalism nonprofit Big If True. Prior to writing fiction, Rick worked as a reporter and editor for several newspapers in Texas. His journalism career began at the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as sports editor of The Daily Texan. He later worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Amarillo Globe-News and The Kerrville Daily Times.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Year Published: 2018

Hard Copy Available