The Stone Justice Series, Book 1
Action packed, fast moving Western during Civil War times, and also an historical novel.
Colonel Tyrone Rafter was sent by his friend, President Lincoln, to find a man important to the Civil war in Mexico. Rafter was captured, his leg wounded so badly it was sawed off by a rather incompetent Mexican doctor and he was kept a prisoner for seven years, subjected to torture, starvation and terrible living conditions. He finally managed to escape, but upon returning home learned that his beloved wife Laura had been told he was dead and had remarried. Rafter became extremely bitter and hostile, never revealing to Laura that he was alive because of her remarriage. He remained mostly in Mexico and became so violent and dangerous that he was known as El Pata Fantasma.
He let President Lincoln know he was alive and Lincoln eventually sent for him to send him on another dangerous mission. Lincoln had been promised by a Mexican constituent a large amount of gold that had been mined by the Mexican and hidden. There were rumors of gold being in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area, but no proof. Rafter was to ascertain if there actually was gold available for the Union’s use.
Rafter spent two weeks with a minister who helped him adapt to the role of being a minister, and he was an atheist. He read the Bible in most of his spare time, adopted an abandoned dog, Dinger and visited all of the Methodist churches in the towns between Washington D.C. and Santa Fe to firm his role as Pastor Justin P Stone. Because his wooden leg was so tender, he purchased a buggy, which was his trademark. As the story proceeded, he learned that Laura died, his son Buck, a young man now, although in the military, had a terrible temper, and as he visited the different churches, was called upon to do weddings, funerals, sermons, and give solace and comfort to many. He began to question whether there was a God.
The story is filled with war, death, Indian attacks, romance, betrayal, love, hate and is a page turner. I truly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who likes Westerns, especially when it includes so much history.
I was given a complimentary copy for an honest review.