In Kane’s early days as a Texas Ranger, he was given a tough assignment. He had to break a smuggling gang operating between Texas and Mexico. The traffic was in guns, and the gang leader was known as El Halcon – the hawk. Five rangers investigating the gun-running had lost their lives at Sierra Blanca, a little village south of El Paso, a day’s ride along the Rio Grande. Kane set out for Sierra Blanca wondering if he would be the sixth man to die…
At the end of the previous book, No Tears for Morgan Kane, U.S. Marshal Kane had been on the wrong end of a number of bullets during a showdown. This story picks up shortly after that and opens with a dying Kane making it to the home of Linda, a girl he was in love with, and she with he. They had originally met in the first Kane book, Without Mercy. Linda fights to keep Kane alive and as he hovers between life and death his fevered mind takes him back in time to when he rode with the Texas Rangers.
The majority of this book is a flashback tale. Occasionally we return to Kane’s present, but quickly go back to the past. It’s the past that makes this essential reading for Morgan Kane fans as we discover how he became a Texas Ranger, along with a lot more about his life, from the massacre of his parents when he was very young, to becoming a desperado.
This book tells of Kane’s first job as a Texas Ranger. Going undercover seems to be a good plan but that soon falls apart and Kane is captured and has to endure torture. Escape seems impossible but with the help of a hidden knife, Kane gets free and now just wants to kill, rather than arrest those responsible for the gun-running. Like in most of the Morgan Kane books, he will suffer mentally and physically before completing his assignment.
What of Kane’s present? That’s left somewhat up in the air. How will his near-death experience have changed him? What of his relationship with Linda? These kinds of questions ensure the reader will be seeking out the next book, Return to Action, as soon as possible.
This book isn’t as hard-hitting emotionally as the previous one, but does contain a lot of brutal action. Between Life and Death is an entertaining book and a must-read if you’ve read No Tears for Morgan Kane.
Louis Masterson is a pseudonym for Kjell Hallbing.