Monday, January 23, 2012

Shadow Crossing by Cotton Smith

US Deputy Marshall Winfield Hoback was a tough lawman.  He raised his family like him.  And when someone walks up to him and one of his sons on the streets of Denver City and shoots him down, no one is more surprised than he is.

Dorchester Publishing and Net Galley let me read an ebook of this story for review.  I like a good western once in a while.  This book was published January 10th, so you can get a copy now at your local bookstore.

This is the story of a strong western family that has carved a life in an unforgiving country with animals and Indians that offer danger.  Marshall Hoback taught all his children how to shoot, how to survive in the woods, and how to be aware of everything around them.  When Vince sees his father shot in the street, he's grief-stricken and guilty both; he wasn't wearing a gun and couldn't defend him.  The last words his dad left with him were:  "Remind Sell about justice."

The Hoback family consisted of five children.  Their mother died from an illness.  One of the brothers had died in war.  One is an outlaw.  One is a scholar and drinks too much.  Sell had aspirations to be a Marshall, but the Civil War had left its mark on him.  Kathleen is an expert with horses and lost her love in the war.

They wait for justice to find their father's killer, but when Sell disappears during his first outing as Marshall and the others in his party are dead, the family decides that's too much.

The plot is complex, there's lot of action, and you have to admire this family.  They do what they need to do and their father's expertise and guidance make them good at it.

This is not a story for wimps.  If you like authentic westerns, this is the book for you.

Happy reading.

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