Wished for More
From the moment Clint Cooper walked into the sheriff?s office demanding information about the killer of his brother, you knew there would be trouble. Of course there has to be, in this slim book about a range war between the Coopers, a long time cattle family, and Montgomery Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is intent on buying up and fencing as much land as possible for himself and the stockholders who support him. If this keeps other ranchers from accessing water, or even isolates their cattle on two different sides of the fence, so much the better. Throw in a corrupt sheriff and a lot of hired guns, and you have a plot as old as the range wars themselves.
What made Prodigal of the Pecos different for me was the fact that I actually cared about the people caught up in this confrontation. I didn?t want Olivia Cooper to lose any more family mambers resisting the encroachment. And, unlike many books, there were characters here who were at risk. Clint?s hard-headed father was just the type to let his anger overcome him, face the hired gun, Shiloh Vance, alone, and be killed for his effort. Younger brother Martin, with his damaged leg, still wanted to prove himself as tough as the rest of the family but the loss of one leg made him vulnerable. Long time ranch hands, even young orphan Jimmy Farns, were at risk. I worried about them. Who would Vance take out next? How many people would die before Fitzgerald was stopped?
It surprised me to find myself tense as I read, unwilling to put the book down until I reached the end. And, unusual again for a Western, I was sorry when it ended. I wanted to know more about these characters: Martin?s interest in the local school teacher, Jimmy?s future at the ranch. I found myself wishing the author had fleshed out the sub plots, kept the story going for many more pages. Perhaps he will next time, giving me more to enjoy. I recommend this book to those who enjoy a straightforward, clean, old-fashioned western. I don?t think you will be disappointed.
(I received this book without charge in exchange for a review. I don?t review books that I wouldn?t consider reading anyway, and don?t give special consideration to books I receive for free. All opinions are my own. Honestly.)