A real treat for Western fans in need of a new fix.


Kane Moss

Tuttle uses all the elements of classic Westerns and revenge stories in his debut novel about a Wyoming posse.

Residents of the frontier town of Snowy Point, Wyoming, are no strangers to hardship, and they’ve had their whole lives to get used to the inevitable challenges of the rugged mountains, harsh weather, and constant isolation. But they’ve also learned that when more human forms of trouble come to call, the only response is revenge. So when the bandit Klatchard “Klatch” Bordiaz and his band of outlaws attack the village, murdering, burning, and pillaging, the town’s citizens immediately form a posse to hunt the scoundrels down. The group includes the titular Kane Moss, a favored son of the mountain and an experienced traveler and fighter; Mountain Griz Bolem, so named for his immense strength and stature; Ellis “Cade” Junior and Jed Thompson, hunters with fearsome reputations; Zack Dawson, a miner and expert on gunpowder, and a good shot besides; and Sarah Jane Hawkins, strong and fierce enough that no one could object to having a woman as part of the team. All of them have lost someone or been somehow wronged in the raid, and the desire for vengeance burns deep. Still, with a long and twisted trail ahead of them and more than 30 enemies waiting at the end of it, the mountain warriors have their work cut out for them. Matters only get more complicated when Klatch hears of the pursuit, leaving the mountain posse with ambushes, false trails, and a long journey through hostile Native American territory to contend with. But death and hardship are no strangers on the frontier, and the fast-paced story is governed more by a sense of adventure than one of misery. Indeed, even the deaths of posse members don’t cause the other characters to pause for a while. There’s time for comedic interludes and even a burgeoning romance between Kane and Sarah Jane. Many of the characters don’t get much deeper than their basic descriptions, but they don’t entirely need to. There’s gunplay, long rides, bar fights, and bloody revenge. In short, everything a Western needs: no more, no less.

A real treat for Western fans in need of a new fix.

Pub Date: July 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5035-8379-5

Page Count: 250

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2016

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Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

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Inseparable identical twin sisters ditch home together, and then one decides to vanish.

The talented Bennett fuels her fiction with secrets—first in her lauded debut, The Mothers (2016), and now in the assured and magnetic story of the Vignes sisters, light-skinned women parked on opposite sides of the color line. Desiree, the “fidgety twin,” and Stella, “a smart, careful girl,” make their break from stultifying rural Mallard, Louisiana, becoming 16-year-old runaways in 1954 New Orleans. The novel opens 14 years later as Desiree, fleeing a violent marriage in D.C., returns home with a different relative: her 8-year-old daughter, Jude. The gossips are agog: “In Mallard, nobody married dark....Marrying a dark man and dragging his blueblack child all over town was one step too far.” Desiree's decision seals Jude’s misery in this “colorstruck” place and propels a new generation of flight: Jude escapes on a track scholarship to UCLA. Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Stella, ensconced in white society, is shedding her fur coat. Jude, so black that strangers routinely stare, is unrecognizable to her aunt. All this is expertly paced, unfurling before the book is half finished; a reader can guess what is coming. Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism. The scene in which Stella adopts her white persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion. It calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. Bennett's novel plays with its characters' nagging feelings of being incomplete—for the twins without each other; for Jude’s boyfriend, Reese, who is trans and seeks surgery; for their friend Barry, who performs in drag as Bianca. Bennett keeps all these plot threads thrumming and her social commentary crisp. In the second half, Jude spars with her cousin Kennedy, Stella's daughter, a spoiled actress.

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53629-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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More Hallmarkiana, from a shameless expert in the genre.


High-stakes weepmeister Sparks (A Walk to Remember, 1999, etc.) opts for a happy ending his fourth time out. His writing has improved—though it's still the equivalent of paint-by-numbers—and he makes use this time of at least a vestige of credible psychology.

That vestige involves the deep dark secret—it has something to do with his father's death when son Taylor was nine—that haunts kind, good 36-year-old local contractor Taylor McAden and makes him withdraw from relationships whenever they start getting serious enough to maybe get permanent. He's done this twice before, and now he does it again with pretty and sweet single mother Denise Holton, age 29, who's moved from Atlanta to Taylor's town of Edenton, North Carolina, in order to devote her time more fully to training her four-year-old son Kyle to overcome the peculiar impediment he has that keeps him from achieving normal language acquisition. Okay? When Denise has a car accident in a bad storm, she's rescued by volunteer fireman Taylor—who also rescues little Kyle after he wanders away from his injured mom in the storm. Love blooms in the weeks that follow—until Taylor suddenly begins putting on the brakes. What is it that holds him back, when there just isn't any question but that he loves Denise and vice versa-not to mention that he's "great" with Kyle, just like a father? It will require a couple of near-death experiences (as fireman Taylor bravely risks his life to save others); emotional steadiness from the intelligent, good, true Denise; and the terrible death of a dear and devoted friend before Taylor will come to the point at last of confiding to Denise the terrible memory of how his father died—and the guilt that's been its legacy to Taylor. The psychological dam broken, love will at last be able to flow.

More Hallmarkiana, from a shameless expert in the genre.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2000

ISBN: 0-446-52550-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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