The Cane Creek Regulators

Written by Johnny D. Boggs
Review by John Kachuba

Spur Award winner Boggs is known for his fast-paced, exciting novels, and this latest novel, set in pre-Revolutionary War South Carolina, continues to deliver. The little settlement of Ninety-Six in the colony’s Back Country is a wild and lawless place to live. Sixteen-year-old Emily, daughter of Breck Stewart, the tavern owner, escapes rape at the hands of a band of brigands that have been preying upon the settlers with impunity: murdering, stealing, and worse. When the settlers’ multiple appeals for help are ignored by the governor, Breck organizes a group of vigilantes to go after the marauders and bring them to justice. At great risk, Emily soon finds herself directly involved with her father’s Cane Creek Regulators, and in fierce opposition to her embittered and violent older brother Donnan.

Well researched and historically accurate, the details of 18th-century life on the American frontier are exactly right. The novel ends just prior to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, and readers will be looking for a sequel to tie up some of the loose ends in various characters’ story lines. A fine novel, nonetheless.