The Trail to the Lopaqua Secret

On the trail to...






Cast of Primary Characters

Presented in Their Order of Appearance

(Key Players are Shown in Blue, with a dot -- with one notable exception.)

JUST FOR FUN:  Make a copy of this, to keep handy as you read the book.
 Anticipate the Player.    Find the Player.    Compare the Player.

Virgil Tanner...
        Former SWAT sharpshooter for the Albuquerque P.D.  He still lives in that city, but now is a PI who's being retained on a full-time basis by a large insurance company as a fraud investigator.  He just barely survives the first page of this story -- and you'll be very glad that he did.

Deputy Ortega...
        ...needs to do a lot or work on honing his people skills.

Sheriff Teague...
        Based in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  He'll be an ally at an important time.

Tom Kelly...
        24-year-old mainstay of the Bar K Ranch, near Oso Negro.  Along with his mother, Beatrice, his sister Mary, and his best friend, Jay-Jay, they make an excellent team.

Beatrice Kelly...
        Lost her husband a few years earlier in a suspicious and mysterious way.

Mary Kelly...
        Has strikingly beautiful amythyst eyes.  And uses them well when aiming at targets.

Jack Shannon...
        Good friend and boss of Virgil Tanner.  Manages the Albuquerque office of Southwestern Casualty & Marine Insurance.

Arturo & Lucy Menendez...
        ...are repeatedly plagued with disturbing occurrances on their Rocking M Ranch.

Bernardo Armijo...
        Runs a brand-new convenience store, the Quick Sack, outside of Oso Negro.

Deputy Thomas Montoya...
        Based in Oso Negro.  A cousin of Arturo Menendez.  And a nephew of Bernardo Armijo.  And just maybe, a fitting nickname for him would be "Butterfingers."

Jerry Jon ("Jay-Jay") Longtooth...
        Best friend of Tom Kelly, and a strong believer in his own Apache heritage and traditions -- while being quite a modern and practical person.

Bonnie Jacobson...
        The mother of an autistic 7-year-old boy.

Benny Jacobson...
        Bonnie's son.  An autistic boy... who harbors a secret.

Dr. Farnsworth...
        He has novocaine -- but he's fresh out of lollipops.

Mitch...
        It's not nice to upset the Boss, Mitch!

Guillermo Torres...
        We never get to see him... because he saw too much!

Tyler Koenig...
        A State of New Mexico Livestock Board Inspector.

Sheriff Kate Thompson...
        "Godzilla's little sister?" Just possibly the most unusual sheriff you'll ever run across, either in real life or fiction.

Larry...
        Formerly in the CIA... and subsequently reactivated by the Company -- or by some other entity.  Just goes to show, though... once a hit man, always a hit man.  Watch your back, Larry.

Lydia Hinajosa...
        How helpful can she be to Virgil on the case that brought him to Oso Negro? How much does she really know about her aunt and uncle -- Emory and Consuela Brockton?

Mr. Gomez...
        Mortician/proprietor of the Gomez Funeral Home in Oso Negro.

Marcus Devereaux...
        Emory Brockton's attorney. (Read the story, and then try to come up with an appropriate middle name for him.)

Runs-Like-the-Wind...
        Jay-Jay's elderly grandfather, and a medicine man of great intuition.  Will he get his wish?  To meet the Lopaqua before he dies?.

Dr. Karen Krueger...
        Her bedside manner might be somewhat lacking, but then, as she said, "I've never had any complaints in the past." Whereupon Virgil, who'd come to see her in Dr. Farnsworth's absence, asked why not. To which she replied, as she began stitching his wound, "Oh, I suppose because they were deceased. I'm a retired forensic pathologist. I was chief medical examiner for Hudspeth County, in El Paso."
(You, the reader, will enjoy this character.)

Greyfeather, a.k.a. Rafael...
        An ancient-of-days and enigmatic Native American shaman endowed with almost inconceivable supernatural capabilities. He knows the identity of the Lopaqua, and puts that knowledge to good use. He doesn't go by his Indian name -- but he's quite glad that he was given it, at birth.  For an interesting reason.

   

The Cavern of Spirits...
        Not a person, but a place. But not like any place you're ever likely to have imagined.

Mr. Kessler...
        If it weren't for his bad luck with helicopters, he wouldn't have any luck at all.

"Skull"...
        Leader of a motorcycle gang.

Don Guiseppi Constellano...
        What's the connection between this powerful Godfather and Virgil's assigned case?

Guido and Auggie...
        Two of the Godfather's "soldiers." A couple of real deadeye marksmen.

U.S. Sen. Jason Wellington (I), NV...
        (You'll have to read the book to learn more about his role.)

Col. Carl Savitch, USAF...
        Stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada. He goes on a very interesting trip!

Anderson, Weller, and Radcliffe...
        This 3-man "sweeper" team finds that things don't always go according to plan.  How much of their assignment will succeed?

Gerome Broderick...
        Sort of a high-priced dispatcher. Bald, obese, and deadly. What's in that little black book that he keeps in a safe?

"Snake"...
        What could be worse for a claustrophobic biker than to be forced into a spelunking expedition?  Well -- having his fellow gang members find that out about him, for openers.  But that would have been the easy part, for Snake.

"Tattoo," "Baby Huey," and "Alacran"...
        More reluctant bikers out of their element in a cave... about to go on the ride of their lives.

Philip Cranston...
        This former CIA operative, still a government hit man, goes on a recon mission.  But is being a matador part of his job description?

Sid Vollmer, Ed Clanton, Jimmy Banes, Sam Ellis, and Joe Renner...
        Also former CIA.  How much did they learn from Phil Cranston?

Martin Jackson...
        Also former CIA.  And the leader of a very sinister, 7-man team.

Agents Allen and Fredericks...
        FBI?  Or FIB?

Deputy Birdy Murphy...
        One of Sheriff Thompson's closest friends.  And she does the sheriff one hell of a big favor!

Congressman Jesse 'Little Tree' Heisler...
        Welcomes the Lopaqua to "the city where no good deed goes unpunished."

Harold Williams...
        Associate of Gerome Broderick.  His evening at a Watergate party just might lead him to an encounter with his worst nightmare.

Joseph Green...
        He was sort of a missing link -- until the Lopaqua found him.

Jose and Maria Isabella Trujillo Baca...
        Will these ranchers soon find a UFO overhead??

Brig. Gen. John Granger...
        We saw him earlier, when he had a different rank and name.

Jeremy T. Haroldson...
        Civilian monitoring operator in charge of recording a hugely-secret meeting at Area 51. He also is the key communications liaison for the participants.

"The Chairman"...
        Leader of the group, totalling 12, attending the Area 51 meeting.

Paul Greyfeather Kelly...
        By this time, you know him well. He's been with you almost from the beginning of this book. And this is the name by which you'll know him from now on -- and in the next novel in which he'll be a key player.

 


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