STREETS OF LAREDO by Larry McMurtry

STREETS OF LAREDO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A handsome young psychopath begins a spree of train robbery and murder in the West Texas border country, and the victimized railroad hires the legendary Ranger Captain Woodrow Call, aging hero of McMurtry's Lonesome Dove, to stop him. Gabby, funny Gus McCrae is in his grave, but years later other veterans of McMurty's epic cattle drive live on. Woodrow Call is nearly an old man, still maintaining his reputation as the greatest manhunter in the West. Living nearby, Pea-Eye, Call's old corporal, is a farmer married to Lorena, the gracefully fading beauty who once worked as a prostitute. Pea-Eye and Lorena, the only teacher at the little local school, have five children. Captain Call's final manhunt begins with orders from Colonel Terry, president of the railroad whose trains have been knocked off and passengers murdered by coldblooded Joey Garza. Call summons Pea-Eye to ride with him as he has always done, but Pea-Eye, who almost desperately loves his farm and family and who is beginning to feel his age, refuses the Captain for the first time in his life, and Call has to begin his hunt with no help other than that of Mr. Brookshire--the Brooklyn accountant Col. Terry sent to mind his money. The manhunt is almost immediately complicated by the return of Mox Mox, a murderous pervert who likes to torture and burn his victims. Mox Mox is working the same territory as Joey Garza, a beat also patrolled by the gunslinger John Wesley Harding. It's really more than Call can handle, no matter how quickly the terrified Mr. Brookshire loses his city-bred helplessness. As Call slowly tracks Garza, Maria (Garza's mother) sets out to save her son; a guilt-ridden Pea-Eye finally rides off to join his old boss; and Lorena follows her husband. Everybody who survives winds up in Joey's hometown for the showdown. Bleak, stately, terrifying, and moving: It's not just the wonderful story and completely original, perfectly American characters; McMurtry writes as well about aging as has ever been done.

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-79281-4
Page count: 592pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1993




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