US Marshal David Crockett Hall and Texas Ranger John
Barclay Armstrong have set out chasing men, each for their own reasons. When
their paths converge in Kansas, they discover the men they were following
separately have now joined together and are heading for a giant payday
somewhere, but where, the two lawmen don't know.
This story is about camaraderie, friendship, hardship,
and an unerring desire to complete their jobs at any and all costs.
Set against the background of the late 1870s, the story
takes us across the Midwest, Southwest, and into Colorado, unfolding a tale of
two strangers becoming friends.
Another day, another Audible book, another enjoyable Western
novel of payback and justice.
We have two separate story strands of lawmen tracking
outlaws. One of the pursuits is very personal in that David Crockett Hall’s
sister, niece and brother-in-law have been slain on their ranch. His niece and
sister have endured vile rapes before death. His sister survived long enough to
impart sketchy details on the nine men who attacked her. Hall sees to their
burial then sets off after the men, with murder in his heart.
A fair bit later in the narrative we come across a Texas
Ranger. He’s on a pursuit of his own, to try and plant the men responsible for
the death of a politician’s family member in the ground. It’s a job and a
matter of pride as opposed to any personal loss he has suffered.
I like the setting of post-Civil War, the hardship of life
in the old west, the distances between town and town, the brutality of the climate
and the ruggedness of the terrain. There is a bit of a hangover from the War
and some bitterness from those on the losing side, but also a respect between
some of the veterans we encounter who fought on opposing sides. We are also
coming in to the age of the railways.
There’s law and order and justice, but not as we know it
today. There are predators that are comfortable preying on the weak and exerting
their will forcibly without recourse to conscience. Justice when it catches up
with them is somewhat delayed but also instant and usually final.
Enjoyable narration as always from Theo Holland. I also
liked the notes from both the authors, commenting on the origins of the story
and how it came to pass.
3.5 from 5
Read – (listened to) July, 2022
Page count – 149 (3 hrs 28 mins)
Source – Audible purchase
Format - Audible