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This Hoss Came Up Lame

“Sundog Comanche: Captain Creek, his Younger Years”

Book 1 of the Sundog series

by Ash Lingam, 2017

This book is about the youth of Ridge Creek (yes, that's his name) as he joins the Texas Rangers in the mid-Nineteenth Century. Loving historical novels as I do, I was looking forward to this. Unfortunately, the book was a pain to get through, being rife with grammatical and spelling errors.

Here's a quote from the first chapter: “Frank pulled the wagon up, pushed forward on the wooden wheel break and as we both jumped down off of the buckboard wagon, our boots making clouds of reddish dust from the dry arid land.”

Obviously, “break” should be spelled “brake” and there needs to be a comma after it. The word “making” should be “made” to maintain the tense, or remove the word “as”. “Dry” and “arid” are the same thing. And even with those corrections, it's still a run on sentence. It’s amazing when you get five things wrong with one sentence.

The rest of the book has similar errors. Commas are missing throughout. It's “Sargent” in one paragraph and “Sergeant” in the next. And this happens throughout. A gofer is a rodent that digs holes. Sadly, this is why people have a low opinion of e-books.

Of course, grammar and spelling can be fixed with a good editor, but the writing plods along without any real rhythm or rhyme. The plot is actually not too bad, once it gets started. The action scenes are good, but there's more emphasis on describing scenes of eating beans and smoking cheroots than gunfights.

And all of that I might forgive if any of the characters were particularly likeable. But no, they break the law as easily as the criminals they chase. Our lawman hero has no respect for the law—he's too busy bragging about how tough he is—and his actions are psychotic. If the Rangers decide a man is a criminal, they just shoot the man and his buddies. If they manage to capture one, he's hung without a trial.

Well, it’s Texas, isn't it?

2 stars.


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