This novel by Frank Kelso and John O’Melveny Woods, starts with a hanging, well, not quite. Jeb Benjamn and Zach Edwards free the man before he could be strung-up to a tree. Jeb and Zach were on their way to California but must pay a visit to Jeb’s sister and family in Texas. Recently released from the Confedrate Army when the War ended, they planned to see California and maybe settle there. The trip was interrupted at the ranch of Jeb’s sister, finding it burned to the ground, the cattle stolen, the family killed except for a young daughter, Becky, the work of Mexican bandoleros lead by the Cortinas.
Jeb and Zach couldn’t let the Cortinas get away with it and are soon across the border spying on the fortified outpost of Miguel Cortina where Rebecca (Becky) is being held. Miguel is saving her for his own pleasure before turning her into a whore.
Jeb, the planner of operations, is assisted by Zach and an Irish Master Sergeant in the Union Army stationed nearby.
Reading this novel about the way Jeb and Zach go about it was fun, twisting, and entertaining right to the conclusion.
Jeb’s “plans” are a riot and Zach supports him with offhand comments about them. Do they ever reach California? You’ll have to pick up a copy to find out.
It reads like it’s worth FIVE STARS and it was to me.