I always heard that life outside D.C. was “different.” I heard that it was real different in Texas. After a lifetime in the District, I moved to the Lone Star state, ready and willing to personally witness the variance between East Coast and Wild West. In his latest book, Cimarron Rose, James Lee Burke captures the intimate, if sordid, nature of small-town Texas with the same masculine style and vivid character studies that in his previous novels helped lure me to the second biggest state in the union. His new protagonist, Billy Bob Holland, is not completely dissimilar to the author’s earlier repeat performer, Dave Robicheaux. But this time out, Burke delivers the story of the lone-wolf attorney struggling with his past as a Texas Ranger while attempting to make good in the present with his client, an accused rapist. All the while Holland is confronted with an assortment of quietly vicious ex-cons, morally bankrupt townies, ill-tempered DEA agents, Mexican drug smugglers, and police officers with a proclivity to sodomize those unfortunate enough to be in their custody. Let’s see…sex, drugs, love, murder, class disputes, racism, and corruption. Nah, sounds nothing like D.C. Burke reads at 6 p.m. at the Ripley Center Lecture Hall, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Maria Ware)