Power in the Blood

Greg Matthews, Author HarperCollins Publishers $23 (858p) ISBN 978-0-06-017969-4
Matthews here confirms the storytelling gifts and knowledge of the bad, lawless Old West that he demonstrated in Heart of the Country . This is a spellbinding, tragicomic, rip-snorting and deeply moving novel about three sibling orphans who are wrenchingly separated in 1869 and are accidentally, joyfully--but briefly--reunited 16 years later in Colorado. The trio--Clay, Zoe and Drew Dugan--board a westward-bound ``orphan train'' in upstate New York and disembark to meet foster parents in three different states. Clay later kills the farmhands who murder his kind foster parents and becomes a sheriff, then a bounty hunter. Zoe, brutally raped by her foster father, a strict farmer, gives birth to Omie, born with a strange blue birthmark across her face. Omie's paranormal powers--she can foresee events, read minds, teleport objects and converse with spirits--will protect Zoe in her loveless marriage to Colorado mining magnate Leo Brannan, a politically ambitious monster who ditches Zoe for a gold-digging prostitute and who hires a transvestite assassin to deprive Zoe of her share of their fortune. Drew runs away from his foster father, a religious fanatic, is rescued by Apaches, and becomes a whorehouse attendant, then a bank robber. The siblings' reunion leads to a bizarre train robbery, part of Zoe's revenge on Leo. Despite too many improbable coincidences and recurring episodes of lurid melodrama, this gripping story provides compelling commentary on blind ambition, murder, sex, euthanasia, true grit, the vagaries of fate and the self-destructiveness at the heart of America. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993
Release date: 03/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-109086-8
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