Thursday, April 28, 2016

Large Print: "West Texas" Al Sarrantonio

Large Print: West Texas AL Sarrantonio, 1990, 9781410402677

A few weeks ago someone on Friday Forgotten Books recommended a Sarrantonion Western. The recommended title was not in the library catalog so I grabbed this one.

Short: Serial killer roams West Texas as Buffalo Soldier cavalry fight racism and Mescalero Apaches.

Long: Thomas Mullin is a former slave and Union Army infantryman. Mullin stayed in the Army, joined the Calvary, foughht in the Indian Wars and was promoted to Lieutenant. Serving out of Fort Davis in the mountains of West Texas Mullin ends up with a dickhead for a Captain. The Captain gets Mullin cashieredout of the Army. The novel picks up with Mullin a newly minted civilian and now in need by the Captain.

At the same time we're introduced to a nut bag killer who is roaming the hills and fighting the Sun. Yeah. The Sun. Serial Killer ends up killing a Senator's son and after the son has gone missing the Senator puts pressure on the Army. The Army puts pressure on the Captain, a would-be General Custer, long hair and all. The Captain is mostly incompetent and gets the best man for the job: Mullin.

Things happen. Fort Davis is a backwater. The Apaches were defeated a few years ago and nothing happens there. The white officers are bums. Most of those bums are racist to the all black enlisted soldiers. Mullin sets out before the Senator's newly hired Pinkertons arrive to save the day.

Serial Killer is a nut. He kills men and women and buries the remains. Mullins is a recent convert to the Sherlock Holmes method and discovers the burials are laid out in large circle. Mullins's want to be protege heads out with the drunken and cruel Pinkertons. Meanwhile, the Mescalero Apaches have come back to West Texas for some revenge.

Adventure. Excitement. Surprisingly sparse horse talk. No women. No romance. Mullins saves the day.

1. I have a hell of a time remembering how to spell Lieutenant.
2. Cavalry and calvary also trip me up.
3. If you're like me you'll want to stop reading and check Google Maps for the locations used by Sarrant

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