Nevin’s History

Written by Jim Sanderson
Review by Susan Zabolotny

Andrew Nevin, a reporter for the Brownsville Sentinel, relays the news and documents the history of Texas from the 1870s well into the twentieth century. A nephew of the famous Confederate officer and Indian fighter, John “Rip” Ford, Nevin is also in love with Rip’s beautiful third wife, Addie. Together they have a son, William, who Andrew may never claim as his own. He also finds solace in the arms of a Mexican courtesan, Catalina Taracon. She aids him in his role as informer and spy for his uncle, who wants to avoid war with Mexico at all costs.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, there’s a constant threat of war with Mexico as bandits cross the border to steal cattle and wreck the local economy. Juan Cortina, governor of Matamoros and leader of the most notorious group of bandits, has friends on both sides of the river, including Andrew Nevin.

Nevin is asked by his uncle to join the special band of Texas Rangers appointed by the governor to end the raids. These inexperienced farm boys are led by Captain McNelly, a 32-year-old consumptive who longs to leave this world in a blaze of glory regardless of the cost in lives. Andrew cannot be part of McNelly’s atrocities to the Mexican people and resigns. He goes back to the newspaper, determined to expose McNelly and write a truthful account of those turbulent times.

A self-professed coward, Andrew longs for a nonviolent solution to the turmoil and a life of peace for citizens on both sides of the border. The character of Andrew Nevin is fictional, but real people and true events surround him in this exciting novel of those who fought to bring civilization to the southwest.