Rio Hondo by Preston Lewis

RIO HONDO
Three Rivers Trilogy, Book 3
by
PRESTON LEWIS

Western / Historical Fiction / Action & Adventure

Publisher: Five Star

Pages: 373 pages

Publication Date: May 18, 2022

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With the embers of the Lincoln County War still burning, rancher Wes Bracken must rebuild his life amid the white-hot animosities lingering from the deadly feud. His vengeful brother-in-law vows to kill him, the county’s economic kingpin seeks revenge, and the despicable outlaw Jesse Evans, who violated Bracken’s wife, intends to murder Bracken and his young family. Two promises complicate Bracken’s survival chances: a pledge not to kill his wife’s brother and a commitment to help William H. Bonney earn a governor’s pardon for his crimes.

To survive and fulfill his dream of a peaceful life in 1880s New Mexico Territory, Bracken must fight a corrupt legal system, a duplicitous governor, a ubiquitous political ring, and the evil Jesse Evans. If Bracken keeps his promises to his wife and Billy the Kid, he risks an early grave in the same soil that holds so many of the Lincoln County War’s dead. If he ignores those pledges, he will dishonor the good name he hopes to build his future upon.

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Review

If you have been reading my blog you know I love Westerns and this is no exception!  Lewis’s ability to create fascinating characters never ceases to amaze me.  Wes Bracken has become one of my favorite characters in literature.  Bracken struggles with what is moral, ethical, and what is justice in Lincoln County, New Mexico.  This inner wrestling of the soul includes protecting his family and partner, making the choices even more severe.  Can anyone in Lincoln County be trusted?

The book continues with such historical people as Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and Lew Wallace.  If you are thinking that the Billy the Kid story is done, think again because in this story Bracken is a friend of Billy’s and as such, the reader gets to see Billy in a new light, which probably paints a much more realistic picture of who he was.  Lew Wallace is the author of the novel Ben Hur which was turned into the blockbuster movie but did you know that he was at one time the governor of New Mexico?  Lewis does a tremendous job of weaving all these real and created characters together in a brilliant story about the corruption often found in the old west.  It is a story about the many who moved west simply wanting a good life for their families and others that wanted greed and power.

So pull out your duster coat, saddle up your horse, grab your rifle and be prepared to struggle with who you would trust in Lincoln County. Definitely a 4-star read!

Preston Lewis is the Spur-Award-winning author of over forty westerns, historical novels, juvenile books, and memoirs. He has received national awards for his novels, articles, short stories, and humor. In 2021 he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters for his literary accomplishments. Lewis is past president of Western Writers of America and the West Texas Historical Association.
His historical novel Blood of Texas earned a Spur Award as did his True West article on the Battle of Yellow House Canyon. He developed the Memoirs of H.H. Lomax series, which includes two Spur finalists and three Will Rogers Medallion Awards (WRMA) for western humor. Lewis has received two Will Rogers Gold Medallion Awards for his short stories. The Fleecing of Fort Griffin and two of his YA novels have won Elmer Kelton Awards for best creative work on West Texas from the West Texas Historical Association.
Lewis began his writing career working for Texas daily newspapers in Abilene, Waco, Orange, and Lubbock before going into university administration. During his thirty-five-year career in higher education, he directed communications and marketing offices at Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Angelo State University.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University and master’s degrees from Ohio State in journalism and from Angelo State in history. He lives in San Angelo, Texas, with his wife, Harriet.

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One thought on “Rio Hondo by Preston Lewis

  1. I read the first of this series, and you’re exactly right about how Wes is a stellar character — and I also enjoy how the author weaves history into the story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Like

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