James Lee Burke is one of my favorite living authors and I've read most everything he's written. This is an earlier novel of his, written before he found fame with his Dave Robicheaux series. It's a western, a historical novel, a war story, and a sort of buddy comedy. Two men kill a guard and break out of prison and have some adventures before ending up in Sam Houston's army in the fight against Mexico. It's a bit different than Burke's other book, but it's a rousing story with a vivid sense of history and that violence that shapes it. At time it recalls Cormac McCarthy, but with far less pretentious. One of the characters is the great-grandfather of Billy Bob Holland, who appears in other Burke novels.
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