Just because he’s lost an arm to Bonnie and Clyde doesn’t mean a Texas Ranger has to hang up his spurs.
Anyone else would accept his fate after a shootout with the Depression era’s most famous criminal couple deprives him first of the use of his right arm, then, when infection begins to set in, the whole arm itself. And Sonny Burton’s not exactly eager to go on working his job or even to strap on the prosthetic arm he’s been issued. When Aldo Hernandez, a janitor at the hospital where Sonny was treated, asks his help in finding his missing daughter, Carmen, Sonny points out the obvious: no badge, no arm. But everyone in Wellington seems convinced that Sonny’s estranged son, Jesse, can’t fill his father’s shoes even if he’s got his own badge and arm. There’s growing evidence that Carmen has run off with the Clever, Clever boys: Eddie, who actually is a pretty clever petty thief, and his twin, Tió, who’s barely clever enough to write his name. Even worse, the area around Wellington has become a dumping ground for the mutilated corpses of anonymous young women who provide a feast for the crows who serve as a mute, abiding chorus in a world that manages to be both replete with violence and marked by an unearthly stillness. So Sonny, accepting the fact that he’ll always be a Texas Ranger, goes into action, knowing his decision will put him at odds with everyone else in town.
Sweazy (See Also Murder, 2015, etc.) never ties the two crime sprees together satisfactorily; it seems quite a coincidence that they’re both raging simultaneously. But he knows everything there is to know about hope and hopelessness in 1934 Texas.