Jeff Mariotte

Book Review: Cimarrón, by Andrew McBride

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I read a lot of books, but review very few because I’d usually rather just start the next one. But sometimes I’m privileged to read a book before its release, and on those occasions, I want to let potential buyers know what I think. (Of course, if I don’t think much of one, I likely won’t bother to say so.

That’s not the case here, though.

Andrew McBride has written several other books about Calvin Taylor, the main character in this one, who is sometimes called Choctaw. Choctaw’s a magnet for trouble, and in this episodic adventure he attracts it and deals with it the only way he can–and then must cope with attention that comes to a man whose skill with a gun becomes what people think about when they hear his name. Choctaw meets Declan Flynn and the two become fast friends, though circumstances and Choctaw’s reputation push them apart and together and apart again until the relationship culminates in the most difficult decision Choctaw has ever faced–and the consequences thereof.

McBride writes about the old West like he lived then, and he writes about Arizona like he lives there (which he doesn’t, but I do). You’ll feel the desert under your boots and smell the gunsmoke in the air, and praise for a Western writer doesn’t get higher than that. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed Western, you won’t go wrong with this one. It’s ideal for fans of Robert Vaughan, Peter Brandvold, Richard Prosch, and Louis L’Amour. It’ll be out next month from Five Star, and U.S readers can preorder it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers.

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