A Score to Settle


WESTERN: It’s 1870, and rancher Ansel Lawson goes to his grave without sharing the location of his stolen gold to a band of thieves. In retaliation, they murder Ansel’s wife, Maybelle, their grown son’s wife, and his young son and burn both their ranches. Del Lawson barely escaped with his life. Filled with grief over the deaths of his wife, son, and parents, Del joins a cattle drive along the Goodnight-Loving Trail, hoping to outrun the painful memories. When he is injured by cattle rustlers and taken to Fort Sumner for care, he falls for the fort’s nurse. Unbeknownst to Del, the murderers who killed his family are still after him, and the young boy who is tagging along with him.  Meanwhile, Maybelle, who actually survived, believes her son Del is dead and undertakes a bold plan to avenge her family’s deaths.

Saddle up for an authentic western adventure! Mr. Torreano’s fluid writing style will make readers feel as though they are riding the Goodnight-Loving Trail along with the cowboys. The characters are strong, the dialogue is great, and their conflicts are painfully real. The twin plot lines of Del and Maybelle intersecting throughout weaves a thread of additional suspense. The romance of Del and nurse Rose is organic and lovely. The story is only hurt by rough, skipping pacing, which moves characters in jerky motions, and with frequent sentence fragments. This is mostly author choice of style; however, it also leads to a bouncy read. Beyond those technical issues, “A Score to Settle” is a true good versus evil old west tale with plenty of twists and surprises!

Emerson Matthews