Skip Navigation LinksThe Devil Went Down to Austin

The Devil Went Down to Austin A Bantam Hardcover
(Tres Navarre series #4)
Pub Date: June 2001
ISBN: 0-553-11097-7

The Story
Tres Navarre, private eye and sometimes English professor, is hoping for a laid back working vacation when he accepts a summer teaching gig at the University of Texas at Austin, even if it means shacking up for six weeks with his big brother Garrett, who calls Austin home.

Garrett Navarre — computer programmer extraordinaire, Jimmy Buffett fanatic, and all-around eccentric — is hoping to retire a multi-millionaire by the end of summer, thanks to a high tech start-up company he and two buddies have launched. Garrett has bet everything from his career to the Navarre family ranch that the company will stay alive long enough to make a public stock offering, allowing him to ride the Austin high tech boom right into the saddle of luxury.

Tres and Garrett’s hopes are both shattered with a single gunshot. Garrett’s oldest friend and business partner turns up murdered at his lakefront home, and Garrett is the only suspect.

As Tres delves into Garrett’s bizarre world to find the truth behind the murder, he comes face to face with the damaged relationships, violent lives, and billion-dollar schemes of a brave new high tech world.

Among the players: Matthew Peña, a corporate take-over artist with a trail of broken enemies in his wake and an overzealous desire to make Garrett’s company his own; Ruby McBride, the victim’s wife, a hard-edged beauty haunted by three generations of family failure; and W.B. Doebler, the head of an oil-rich clan with more power than morals, and enough skeletons in the closet to man a ghost ship. Connecting them all – the beautiful waters of Lake Travis, and an unspeakable evil that lies beneath their depths.



The Reviews
“Powerful writing about palpable evil. A book sure to enhance the author’s solid reputation.”
– Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Navarre just may have become the most appealing mystery hero in Texas. His latest is pure heaven for mystery fans.”
– Booklist, starred review

“Like the rivers in Texas, Rick Riordan’s novels meander all over the map, overrunning their banks and flooding backyards, flushing out interesting life forms wherever they go. Whether he’s helping to bust up a wedding at Scholz Bier Garten of attending the raucous funeral of a Jimmy Buffett ‘Parrot Head,’ Tres [Navarre] has a knack for showing readers a crazy good time.”
– New York Times Book Review

“A full cast of fascinating whodunit characters, a solid job of storytelling, and Riordan renders two underwater set pieces and the final confrontation with the killer as spookily and breathlessly as any suspense fan could wish.”
– Los Angeles Times Book Review

“First-class. Riordan is one of those writers who can casually enrich the mystery field without any sense of slumming. Ross MacDonald must be beaming down from somewhere.”
– The Chicago Tribune

“Sarcastic humor, memorable characters, and spectacular action scenes round out a spellbinding adventure. Highly recommended.”
– Library Journal

“Riordan’s grasp of the great state of Texas is legendary, and he displays quite an aptitude for characterizations as well, particularly his urbanely lethal villains. If you like the writing of Dennis Lehane or Randy Wayne White, you’ll enjoy getting acquainted with Rick Riordan.”
– BookPage

“A dang fine Texas writer and fun to read. There is a special charm to Texans, and Riordan brings it to this book with fine writing throughout.”
– San Jose Mercury News

” A fast-paced tale, expertly told. The superb plot twist is a thing of rare beauty. When the truth is finally and cataclysmically revealed, all the pieces fall into place but not necessarily into the places one expected. The sum of these parts is a great summer read.”
– The Denver Post

“Peopled with characters as diverse as country-club trust-funders, oil-rich newcomers and well-armed bikers, Mr. Riordan’s novel is a colorful look at what goes on in Austin every day, and the fun of living in the capital of a state such as Texas.”
– The Dallas Morning News

“Witty, sharp as glass, and plotted as well as it’s written, The Devil Went Down to Austin paints a high-tech Texas laced with treachery and tequila before a cranked-up Jimmy Buffett backdrop. Expect great things, because Riordan delivers.”
–Michael Hudson, Amazon.com

“Another terrific tale by San Antonio’s Rick Riordan. The novel has . . . just about everything you could want from an action adventure.”
– The Houston Chronicle

“The best book of his admittedly young career. Riordan outdoes himself and carves another notch on his belt — The Devil Went Down to Austin is a heady nightcap of sass and suspense with a twist of mayhem.”
– The Austin Chronicle

“Liberally mixed into this blend of angst, emotion, [and] violence, humor is the leavening agent that keeps this book skimming along as smoothly as a day sailing on Lake Travis. I can think of few better ways to spend a long, hot summer’s day in Texas than reading a good Tres Navarre mystery.”
– The San Antonio Express-News

More Fun Activities!

Learn About Camp Half Blood Learn About Our Educational Resources Learn About Greek Mythology