Gone to Texas

Don Wright, Author
Don Wright, Author Forge $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-86715-7
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-312-87172-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-8125-8908-5
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Its title culled from a saying popular among displaced Confederates after the Civil War, Wright's latest western (after The Woodsman) is a competent but unsubtle blend of familiar themes wrapped around a sophomoric romance between a tough young outlaw and a pitifully soiled dove in postwar Missouri, Kansas and Texas. Young outlaws and rebel partisans Peyton Lewis and his cousin Fletcher Rucker are on the run from Yankee lawmen when they encounter Molly Klinner, a hard-boiled teenage trollop who sees Lewis as her only means of escape from a life of forced prostitution. The three ill-prepared travelers endure a murderer's ambush and a plains blizzard before hitching a ride on a passing stagecoach, which carries them to even greater danger from cowardly passengers and scalp-hunting Comanches. A spirited defense of a burned-out stage station under Indian attack thins the cast of characters considerably, leaving the air filled with gunsmoke and a lot of folks filled with arrows. Wright scores big with the excitement of gunplay and Indian fights, but his characters are right out of Hollywood casting, while his plot inescapably calls to mind films such as John Wayne's Stagecoach and Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales, each far more original and enjoyable than this merely entertaining ride. (July)
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