Books by Robert Skimin

CUSTER’S LUCK by Robert Skimin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 20, 2000

"Skimin is an experienced hand at the 'might have been' (Apache Autumn, 1993, etc.), and backstopped by researcher Moody, he gives us a plausible Custer, flawed, flamboyant, and thoroughly entertaining. "
Little Big Horn goes Custer's way in this lively "what if" novel. Read full book review >
APACHE AUTUMN by Robert Skimin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 1993

The leadership of an exceptionally capable chief is not enough to preserve Apache independence in the face of post-Civil War expansionism. The chief is no luckier in love—in a well-balanced western historical romance by Skimin (Renegade Lightning, p. 73; Gray Victory, 1988; Chikara!, 1984). Resisting, for the most part, the usual literary hyper- reverence for and loopy idealization of Indian ways, Skimin carefully undoes the Hollywood versions of the last, sad days of the free Apaches. Following the advice of their charismatic chief Lazaro, the Chihenne Apache tribes abandon their life as bison followers on the plains and move south to New Mexican territory to become farmers. The move keeps them in the path of the growing US and dooms their existence as a free nation. Relocation also exposes Lazaro to exquisite Carlota Cardenas, fiancÇe of a wealthy and rather grand Mexican landowner. Smitten with Carlota, Lazaro kidnaps her on her wedding day and makes her his wife. Carlota bears him a child, but her loathing for Lazaro never lets up; and when she is at last able to flee the Indian village, she does, taking her son Andres with her. Returning to find her family gone, Carlota is rejected until she marries a half-Mexican US Army officer. Andres grows up, serves heroically in the Union army, gets a law degree, returns to New Mexico, and opens a pro-Indian newspaper. Eventually his close-up view of unjust treatment of the Indians is too much, and Andres joins his father's tribe, taking them on their last raids and seeing them through their final humiliation. Truth and history prevail over bodice-ripping in a sad, well- told story. Read full book review >
RENEGADE LIGHTNING by Robert Skimin
Released: March 1, 1992

A straight-arrow midwestern flyer and a rising mafioso team up to clip the wings of a murderous Italian ace who terrorizes the skies over WW II Sicily. Co-writers Pacheco (the nonfiction Fight Doctor, 1977) and Skimin (Gray Victory, 1988; Chikara!, 1984) based the story on a real incident. Bad things have been happening to Africa-based bombers on their way back from raids over Europe: injured stragglers are mysteriously disappearing. Young Captain Josh Rawlins discovers the reason when his own limping B-17 is joined by an American Lightning fighter that turns from apparent friend to murderous foe, shooting down the bomber and then strafing all the survivors except Josh. The wolf in sheep's clothing is Franco Adamo, an Italian who spent his formative years in Boston and who now uses his flawless Yankee slang and captured airplane to lure innocent flight crews to their death. Vowing revenge for the murder of his pals, Rawlins goes AWOL and stows away on the plane inserting OSS agent Maj. Rudy ``Lotions'' Sabatini into Sicily. Peacetime mafia consigliäre Sabatini has orders to find and eliminate Adamo, who is actually the son of an enemy of Sabatini's old boss Vito Genovese. Sabatini and Rawlins chase Adamo from Sicily to Sardinia to Cairo, where Adamo's gorgeous Jewish-Italian archaeologist wife whiles away the war looking for Mrs. Tutankhamen. Guess who Rawlins falls for. There's not a tongue anywhere in cheek in this thin, Indiana Jones adventure. Too bad. Read full book review >