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Publisher's Summary

It's the Arizona Territory. The year, 1848. The year the Mexican War ended. Fate and blazing pistols have just thrown together reporter and part-time drunk Marion T. Bell and the very nearly legendary John Charles Hart, mustanger and scout, in the Little Fanny Saloon. Plying the river-trade across the Colorado to the gold fields of California in the north, and war-torn Mexico to the south, the town of Gable's Ferry has sprung up overnight-lacking only a church, a schoolhouse and a jail.

Though some would say that only the jail was needed.

A rough place in a lawless era. About to become a hell of a lot more so one night when Hart, Bell and the easy-going giant Mother Knuckles stumble upon Elena, a fierce, young, badly wounded Mexican woman near the banks of the Colorado. She's naked. She's been bullwhipped, knifed and branded. And she tells them about the kidnap, rape and servitude she and her sister have endured at the hands of las hermanas de lupo, the deadly Valenzura Sisters and their henchman, the deserter Paddy Ryan, at the well-manned slave-camp across the river aptly called Garanta del Diablo-Mouth of the Devil.

It's just three hundred years since Cortez. Only three hundred years since the Old Gods of Mexico were in their full and fearsome flower.

Tezcatlipoca, god of the moon and the night. Tlazolteotl, Eater of Filth. Xipe, Lord of the Flayed.

Blood for rain. Blood for bounty.

For many, like the Valenzura Sisters, they have never died.

And Elena's sister's still there.

This will be a Crossroad Press production.

©2003 Dallas Mayr (P)2013 David N. Wilson

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Western/Horror

WARNING: this book contains rape and gore.

THAT DRY TIT
If you are still reading I assume that the warning will not keep you from listening. This is part of what is starting to become a new genre. It could be called Weird West as John Joseph Adams calls it or I prefer Western Horror. Cormac McCarthy and Joe R. Lansdale often write in this genre. Child of God by McCarthy would be a good example. Mike Resnick is also starting to put out books with a more humor slant in this category. If well written, this could be become a very popular genre. This novella by Ketchum is very well written, is certainly entertaining and has several scenes that will make you cringe. There is one involving a game the bad guys play that I will never forget. I have read a lot of horror and never come upon something like this scene.

In these horror/westerns, the bad guys are as evil as you can get, the good guys can seem a little grey, as living in the wild wild west can cause a man to become hardened or else he will not survive. The good guys in this are actually heroes. These westerns also include the banter of men living away from women for long periods of time, often very funny banter. Anyways this book is very violent, gory, funny and entertaining. I loved it and hope to be able to listen to more of such like.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Awesome! I loved this story!

The horror is in the reality of the cruel old west. This is a great story, beautifully read. I highly recommend it.

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Good not great

It was a quick listen not his best work. Not as much horror as western. Something different.

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  • John G
  • 06-13-15

A right riveting read

I thought this was a great short story, full of flavour and exceptionally well orated