Rats Alley is the final volume in Irsfield's trilogy of Texas novels, a series begun in 1975 with Coming Through and followed in 1976 by Little Kingdoms. The three books share the landscape of modern Texas, a landscape scarred with the myriad compulsions and passions of the contemporary world. Set in Houston and in a mythical small Texas town, the book is the story of a young man's wrongful death, the ensuing cover-up by authorities, and the quest for justice and then revenge by the victim's father. As the story inevitably tracks to its brutal end, suicide and murder are among the fruits of the first wrong acts. If there is a lesson in this dark but moral tale, it is best expressed by the following lines from W.H. Auden's ""September 1, 1939"": ""Those to whom evil is done, Do evil in return.