The initial premise here has elements of High Noon. Eight years ago, West Texas Sheriff Caulfield Blake did his moral duty, against the fierce wishes of the townspeople and his own wife. Run out of town, he has stayed away, effectively deserting his family. Now, in 1880, Blake's old enemy, ""Colonel'' Simpson, is scheming to pull off a land-grab by damming a creek vital to Blake's ex-wife Hannah and neighboring friends. Realizing that only ``Caulie,'' a canny rebel leader during the Civil War, can deal with the ruthless Simpson, Hannah writes to him. Blake comes home to find Hannah remarried and the mother of three more children. The errant ex-sheriff's discomfort is further exacerbated by his 14-year-old son's lingering sense of betrayal. But Blake organizes his old friends and after much danger and bloodshed, triumphs. The novel is rather sentimentalreaders will not be surprised at the outcome of Blake's and Hannah's continuing affectionbut the plot races, helped by Wisler's (My Brother, The Wind) firm grasp of period detail and spare prose. Even nonwestern fans will enjoy this fourth work in Evan's Novels of the West series. (December 12)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987 Release date: 12/01/1987 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.