Across the Red

Ken Famer,
Buck Stienke

Bodie is a Texas Ranger whose area is being plagued by a violent gang of rustlers who have no problems killing anyone in their way, including Bodie’s young apprentice. Unable to solve the problem himself, he finds reinforcements from friends who are fellow Rangers and a couple of well-known US Marshalls. No one wants an all-out war except the rustlers, who decide to upgrade from stealing and murdering a Ranger to killing US Calvary soldiers. 


Bodie and his cohorts are wonderfully colorful characters, with dialogue written true to the time, but never so much as to make it impossible to understand—a rare gift among dialect-using authors. What pulls readers away from enjoying the authentic dialect is the head spinning, overwhelming amount of details in this story - nearly none of which are needed, and do not enhance the narrative. Readers like details for authenticity and flavor, but when every paragraph seems to have multiple sentences with minutiae buried inside, it becomes laborious to read. Some of the knowledge the characters talk about and the terminology used seem a little too modern for the setting. Numerous location change headlines inside the chapter—especially when the change is to just down the street—only serve to yank the reader from the story. There are many scenes which serve absolutely no purpose to the plot or subplots, which is a travesty because the actual story itself is amazing - a historical Texas whodunit, with multiple ties and threads, and an ending twist that no one will see coming!


Julie York