In 1908--27 years after the alleged death of Billy the Kid--rumors abound in New Mexico that the Kid is still alive. The Kid's killer, Pat Garrett, became the most despised man in the state and was labeled a traitor. Now Sheriff Garrett watches as the Kid's exploits become the stuff of legend. When Garrett himself is assassinated, many secrets go ...
In 1908--27 years after the alleged death of Billy the Kid--rumors abound in New Mexico that the Kid is still alive. The Kid's killer, Pat Garrett, became the most despised man in the state and was labeled a traitor. Now Sheriff Garrett watches as the Kid's exploits become the stuff of legend. When Garrett himself is assassinated, many secrets go to the grave with him--including the identity of his killer.
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-05-21 In a lively and original tale of the Old West, Brooks takes potshots at the conventional understanding of what really happened to Billy the Kid in that fateful ambush in 1881. Brooks has penned a dozen conventional westerns (Return to No Man's Land, etc.), but here he attempts a bit of whimsical revisionist history. Two narrators tell the story. One is Billy; the other is Manuella, Billy's lover of many years. In a casual vernacular, Billy maintains that he was not killed by sheriff Pat Garrett that night at Pete Maxwell's ranch. Now, 27 years later, in 1908, he claims he wasn't even there, and that Garrett shot the wrong man and lied to cover it up. Too ashamed to admit his mistake, Garrett gets everyone to go along with his version of the story, and the public heaves a sigh of relief, pleased the Kid is dead. The real Billy spends years hiding out, planning to get even with Garrett some day. Meanwhile, he and Manuella travel, gamble and work at odd jobs to survive, their feelings for each other growing cooler each day as they realize that expedience is all that keeps them together. Manuella pines for a dead outlaw husband and blames Billy for her loss. He dreams of the good old days when the infamous Lincoln County War thinned out the ranks of feuding cowboys, and Billy was a popular hero or a vicious killer depending on who you talked to. Pat Garrett was actually murdered in an ambush in New Mexico in 1908, and the killer was never identified. Did Billy finally get his revenge, or is he just a fat old man wishing he had? Only he and Manuella know for sure. This well-crafted tale is a graceful song, alive with drama, biting wit and just enough well-substantiated doubt to make you wonder. (July) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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