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 Lame dialogue and horrible, ill-placed jokes hamstring this limp second installment in a trilogy of westerns set in the late 1800s starring Del Tackett, a self-described ``wanderin' cowpoke.'' Wanderin' along on a trail of dusty western fiction clichÇs, Tackett meanders into a Texas town where, as luck would have it, he finds a youngish spinster schoolmarm, named Elizabeth ``Liddy'' Doyle, whose dad's name is, get this, Bob Doyle. Ugh. Now, if these two names look suspiciously like those of a well-known and highly placed Republican couple, that may be because Nofziger (Tackett, not reviewed; Nofziger, 1992) was once a highly placed Republican political consultant. Or, maybe he just likes littering his work with such cheesy pun names as Chase Mann Hattan, a small-town banker, or Herbert Bushwalker, an eastern-bred Texan who appears only to explain Tackett's use of the phrase ``deep doo-doo.'' Anyway, Tackett is helping Liddy fend off the avaricious and amorous advances of one Crispen Guicy, a slick villain with designs on Liddy's inherited fortune. In order to claim said fortune Liddy must hop a stage to Denver, where she is to pick up her share of the loot. Hazards lurk at every bend, but Tackett is there to fend them off, offering one rationalization after another for his consistently violent responses to real and perceived threats. Perhaps he is making up for his illiteracy, which Liddy tries to correct at various times during the tale. Or, maybe, he has trouble reconciling his god-fearin' and gun-slingin' sides. Whatever the reason, you would be angry, too, if your name appeared on the cover of a book this silly.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-89526-488-9
Page count: 186pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1994