a Ralph Compton Novel
by David Robbins
Signet, October 2008
The son of a prosperous Arizona rancher, Boone Scott is content to raise cattle for the rest of his days. His brother, Eppley, is another story. Dangerously dissatisfied, he secretly plots to take over the family ranch. When Epp pays an assassin to kill his brother, Boone’s lightning-quick hands leave a fistful of dead men behind. Unaware of his brother’s treachery, Boone flees and soon faces danger from hired gunmen, horse rustlers, and wild Apaches. If he can survive all those threats, he just might come up against the deadliest peril of all: a showdown with his own flesh and blood.
This is a book that should have you thinking as to how one brother can be such a contrast to the other in his personality. Eppley and Boone are fascinating characters that made me wonder how one could be pure evil and the other almost the total opposite. Are these traits they were born with or is it their chosen lifestyle that brings out the good and bad within them?
Eppley and Boone aren’t the only memorable characters in this fast moving tale; there’s also Drub, Old Man Radler, and Sassy, to name a few.
As to be expected in a book by David Robbins there is plenty of action – brutally savage at times – and a lot of great dialogue, both thought provoking and often humorous too.
The books builds well with the growing horrors of Eppley’s atrocities leading to the inevitable showdown between the two brothers that can’t help but leave you thinking about the answers to those questions I mentioned above.
To those who won’t read the Compton books written by anyone other than Compton himself, then I’d say you’re missing out on some excellent reading and Bullet for a Bad Man should more than justify that statement.