Road from Betrayal

Elizabeth Fackler, Author
Elizabeth Fackler, Author M. Evans and Company $18.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-87131-734-6
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Fackler continues the story of western gunman Seth Strummar in this somewhat weak third installment in her series about his life. In 1881, Seth has left Texas, assumed responsibility for his son, Lobo, and acquired a new partner, Mexican Joaquin Ascarate. But turning his back on his former ways proves more difficult than Seth imagined. He has to deal first with his prodigious libido, which leads him to promiscuous behavior in front of his son, who asks uncomfortable questions. Then the trio falls in with a shady character named Blue Rivers. Eventually Seth and his cohorts find themselves in jeopardy on the wrong end of a posse, involved in the aftermath of the Lincoln County war and at odds with one of Rivers's men, whose wife Seth beds. By novel's end, Seth will try once more to reform. Fackler writes with an easy grace and has a good ear for dialogue. Flashbacks to Seth's early life provide counterparts to the current action and help add resonance, but readers unfamiliar with the previous books may not be charmed. Seth's violent and demeaning attitude toward women will leave many annoyed, though Fackler hews to genre traditions in this respect. (May)
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