A Ralph Compton novel by David Robbins
Signet, November 2015
Owen Burnett’s needs are small. All he’s ever wanted is his wife’s affection, his children’s health, and a little plot of land to farm. Still, he’s no fool. So when his neighbour Gareth Kurst makes him a business proposition that could leave him richer than he’s ever dreamed, he can’t refuse giving the risky scheme a try.
Rounding up cattle in the Texas hill country is nothing to take lightly. Between the Comanches roaming the countryside and the horns of the beasts he’s hunting down, Owen knows every second he spends out in the wild puts his life in plenty of danger. But the greatest threat to his person is one he never expected: his ruthless and conniving business partner, who has no plans of ever sharing his bounty….
The mix of three very different families trying to work alongside each other without killing each other, an old mountain man, and a band of Comanches on the warpath, makes for many tense situations, especially when the Comanches begin to raid farms where the womenfolk have been left alone. These suspense filled raids being one of highlights of this excellent tale.
Like in much of David Robbins’ work the importance of family bonds plays a major part of the motivations of a lot of the characters. Greed drives some too. There is also a growing romance between an unlikely pair that provides a lot of the humorous moments within the story.
The book begins like a slow burning fuse, fizzing with anticipation, then burning faster with dangerous intent before exploding in a deadly race for life and violent gunplay.
David Robbins writes in short chapters, ending many with someone in peril but then switches to other characters for the next chapter or so making it almost impossible to put the book down before you discover what happens next to them all.
In Texas Hills David Robbins has certainly written a book that should entertain all fans of westerns.