Review by: Rox Burkey
Mr. Kilgore shapes this novella with delightful prose that takes the reader directly to Texas during a period of time when Texas Rangers were the law enforcers. The combination of a gruesome mystery, tracking clues across the barren South Texas countryside, and realistic characters makes a compelling story for all ages.
The hero, Texas Ranger Raven Comstock, is no stranger to the harsh demands of tracking down the answers. His horse is not only his transportation, but best friend and confidant. Finding a dead white horse leads him on a chase that uncovers more vicious horse murders with what seems like a common thread. I like the logical questioning technique Raven uses along the way as illustrated in this small sample.
“Look, damn it. I’ve got better things to do than sit and jaw with you. If you’ve got something to say…something to accuse me, or my men of…well, just spit it out. And let’s stop this amateurish cross-examination.”
Raven had tired of taking the diplomatic approach himself. “Fine. Here it is. I was at that spread you recently purchased. The place was deserted. Cabin torn all to hell. Nobody in sight. Corral empty and unlocked. There was a dead horse close by. Looked like it had been dead a day or two. And it didn’t die naturally. Its head was bashed in. Literally cracked here and there, possibly with an ax or something. Next day I’m in Alpine, and I hear stories of you buying the place. I also hear you’re pretty damned harsh when it comes to animals….
Mr. Kilgore keeps readers enthralled with the chase and the unexpected ending. Fortunately, it is short enough to consume in a single sitting and worth every moment of reading enjoyment. (By the way, it was disturbing enough that I had to go out and check on the security of my horses. No worries, they were safe.)
Before he wrote novels and short stories, Joe Kilgore created television, radio, newspaper and magazine advertising for some of the world’s largest corporations. Over the years his commercials and ads have been honored with local, regional, national and international awards. He has created and produced advertising in the USA, England, France, Holland, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Saudi, Arabia.
A Texan by birth and the father of three, Joe currently resides in Austin with his wife, Claudia, an accomplished artist. Also on hand is their French Bulldog, assorted cats, plus uninvited squirrels, geese, and deer who frequently wander by.
To date, Joe has authored four published novels; THE BLUNDER, published by Bridgeway Books in 2008, THE GOLDEN DANCER, published by Prize Fight Press in 2013, SIN AND SOMBREROS from Jezebel Publishing in 2014, A FARMHOUSE IN THE RAIN published by Top Hat Books in 2016, and one award-winning novella, THE HORSE KILLER, published by White Bird Press in 2018.