In prose dry and sparse as his West Texas setting, Mackie Murdock brings us the story of Wilbur Malone, a Civil War veteran who spends his life gathering buffalo bones in the wilderness. Haunted by his experiences fighting for the south in the Civil War, Malone soon finds himself forced to confront long-buried regrets when he learns his childhood sweetheart has moved to the area and started a ranch only to find herself plagued by a gang of notorious rustlers. Shootouts and showdowns follow.
Murdock’s novel breaks little new ground, providing the reader with stock western-types and familiar situations. However, it sports an engaging central character and is a readable and enjoyable novel that successfully conjures the setting and the era, delving into both the historical transformations besetting late 19th century Texas as well as the lingering impact of the Civil War. An excellent read for fans of Westerns.