Monday, May 07, 2007

The Brothers of Junior Doyle - E.K. Recknor



The Brothers of Junior Doyle
E.K. Recknor
Signet

Historical/Western

Junior Doyle was raised by his father after his mother died in childbirth. How Sr. Doyle managed an infant while moving from mining town to mining town and working nonstop is a mystery. At the age of 15, Junior went to work at the mine in Tombstone, AZ. He was 16 when his father was gunned down in the street. No one saw who did it, and the law didn’t seem too anxious to find out, either. A chance acquaintance with Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp taught Junior that he’d prefer to be on the right side of the law.

With nothing left to keep him in Tombstone, and wishing to avoid being called as a witness to that business at the OK Corral, Junior decides to head back to the place of his birth and see if he can find out anything about his mother. He finds out that she’s still alive and well, and living with his full brother, Patrick, who, despite being a year older, could be his twin. Together, the two decide to backtrack their father’s life and see if there are other siblings out there. Junior didn’t expect that any of his siblings would be inclined to live on the wrong side of the law, and it’s not long before he has to decide where his loyalties lie.

I have to admit, right up front, that I almost never read westerns. I started this one as a lark, figuring I’d get bored a few pages in and move on to something else. Then I realized I’d hit page 50 without stopping. The book is written in first-person as a sort of memoir by Junior, so it’s in his vernacular. The style of the writing and flow of the story pulled me in immediately. I was engaged by the characters, and came to really care about what happened to them all. I don’t know how this one stacks up against other westerns, given my very limited experience with them, but I can tell you that I read the whole thing in one sitting and enjoyed it. And that’s saying quite a bit.

Rating: 7
May 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22016-5

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