The divergentelements of a Southern Gothic nightmare converge and occupy the same stage in A Ghostly Shade of Pale. History files on a bygone era are ripped open and rewritten in games of murder, betrayal, the macabre, and thesupernatural. Michael Parker comes of age as the tranquility of the old South is shattered in the 1960s by civil unrest, the Vietnam War, and a wave of drug abuse that brings the war on drugs to his front door. Fresh out of Ole Miss, he joins the newly formed Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics as President Nixon declares war on drugs in 1970, and enters a world he is not prepared for. He becomes an unlikely player in a game of international intrigue and a clandestine struggle for the soul of America. The remote crop-duster airfields of Mississippi become launching pads for soldiers of fortune hired by intelligence agencies to smuggle guns into Central America. They return with drugs to fund black operations and shape what their employers call the "Real America." Intelligence agency rogues employ Fredrick, a murderous psychopath, to manipulate protests against the war and as a contract assassin who has no remorse. As he leaves a trail of bodies across the South, they realize too late that his loyalties are not to them or to the communists he also manipulates as a double agent, but to the voices in his head that speak to him incessantly. An uneasy and complex alliance between these shadowy figures, organized crime bosses, and corrupt politicians form a matrix where Fredrick indulges his madness, slimy Mississippi politicians nurture theirdeviancy, and snipers ambush Michael and his agents on frozen fields of regret. A deadly game of cat and mouse threatens the life of Dixie Lee, the woman Michael loves, loses, and finds again as she washes down black beauties with champagne in the seamy Memphis nightclubs of the Dixie Mafia. As he searches for an elusive peace and tries to resist the charms of his troubled lover, the underworld tries to kill him, mob lawyers who fail to bribe him die violent deaths, and the Bureau of Narcotics is infiltrated and compromised. Parker, a modern paladin in search of just causes and dragons to slay, is a cop-philosopher commenting on the world in which he travels as he awakens at the age of twenty-six to find that the whole of his life the paradigm that he clung to with all of his might his notion of right and wrong and of good and evil was all a lie. The plan to alter America filters down and corrupts government at all levels and claims the lives of those who could never know or imagine the origin of their demise. It all comes unraveled in the madness of Fredrick and the conflicted state police agent who unwittingly becomes the fly in the ointment to machinations he cannot begin to grasp. He is forced to fight for his life and the lives of those he loves against enemies seen and unseen, but finds that he is not alone. "