My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Here’s an excellent fast read that both enhances and rehashes the fables and mystique surrounding the 1878 Lincoln County war in New Mexican Territory along with the colorful characters of William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett and fictitious characters surrounding Chisolm’s JingleBob Ranch. This is a second installment in the Luke Starbuck tales in which Matt Braun has created a Manhunter of excellence who will ride the shady edges of the the law with or without a badge in order to get his man. There weren’t a lot of nice clean-cut men out working the ranches in those days and Braun has excellent descriptive abilities to pull us into both the story and the hard scrabble lives of his characters. Starbuck becomes the dirty unshaven lone rider in some cases as he tracks his quarry, but is also backed by John Poe and four other LX cowhands as they search for the killers of rancher Ben Langham and the gang of rustlers surrounding Billy the Kid. Enjoy the read, it’s a model for those of us who are wannabe writers about the old west.