The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent. Publisher: Little, Brown (2013). Historical Fiction. Hardcover. 326 pages. ISBN 9780316206129.
Two stories intertwine on the Gulf Coast during the 19th Century. After she escapes a Texas brothel where she’d been held prisoner, Lucinda Carter travels south to meet her outlaw lover a merciless, violent man who has a plan to make them rich. At the same time Nate Cannon, a Texas policeman and two veteran rangers crisscross the state tracking a man who indiscriminately killed men, women and children who blocked his greedy intents in any manner.
The novel’s cover drew me in. Showing a woman’s back dressed in petticoat and pearls, holding a gun in her nail-polished hands. Just wonderful.
Nate’s a horse whisperer which adds a special quality to this Western. Author Kathleen Kent gives the reader this exemplary police officer– a particularly sensitive man who writes his wife frequent letters updating her on their quest. He cares deeply for horses and treats them well. He’s focused on getting the ruthless guy. As for Lucinda it’s hard not to feel some empathy toward her for her difficult past despite her poor choices. She’s clinging to a relationship with an awful, undeserving man. What does Lucinda see in her lover? He’s charming but a brutal, dishonest trickster. Eventually Lucinda and Nate’s paths cross. Lucinda hopes for a new life and Nate Cannon will stop at nothing to arrest this awful man before he hurts anyone else. Kent describes Texas and the plains quite beautifully. The Outcasts is an intriguing Western that gets quite bloody and horrific at times.
–review by Amy Steele
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Hachette Book Group.