The Far Battleground

F. M. Parker, Author Dutton Books $15.95 (222p) ISBN 978-0-453-00585-2
Parker is well-known for his westerns (Nighthawk, Shadow of the Wolf), and this novel is a hybrid of history and western that does not quite work. As a western, it is a little out of the ordinary, but as a re-creation of General Scott's campaign against the Mexicans in the 1840s, it is lackluster. The characters have little depth, scenes are mechanical, and the narrative is not helped by mediocre writing. The campaign is highlighted by the capture of Mexico City by the Americans, and the novel concentrates on three characters: Chilton, a lieutenant of the Dragoons, plagued by guilt for the death and injuries his men recieve who determines to put the matter right; his Texas Ranger friend, Lt. Cavillin; and the whoremaster and thief Ussing. Eventually, Chilton takes his men on a series of raids to claim gold and silver as reparation. Scott, however, sends Cavillin after the renegade Dragoons. But it is the wild card Ussing, who has determined to kill both men, who finally decides their fate. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-451-15675-4
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