Brush Country: Two Texas Novels

Elmer Kelton, Author . Forge $24.95 (382p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1019-4

Kelton has been writing westerns for nearly 50 years; the keystones of his suspenseful, carefully drawn style can be found in these two early, previously published full-length novels. In Llano River (1966), cattle tycoon John Titus hires Dundee, a drifting cowboy with a quick temper, to find out who is stealing Titus's cattle. When Dundee rides into an outlaw town filled with rustlers, killers and other undesirables, what he finds leads to murder, revenge and vigilante justice on a large scale. In the aptly titled Barbed Wire (1957), hapless cowboy Doug Monahan makes a living putting up fences in south Texas—but he also makes a lot of enemies among the big cattle ranchers who don't favor fences. When one of Doug's friends is shot down in cold blood and Doug is burned out of business, he vows revenge. Unintended loss and suffering among some nice folks result, but the baddies misjudge the good guys' resolve. Both novels offer frontier excitement, suspense, a bit of mystery and romance, and plenty of flying fists and fast-shooting six-gun action. Kelton's first books are as good as his most recent work. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 10/31/2005
Release date: 02/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
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