Killstraight: A Western Story (Five Star First Edition Western)

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9781594146220: Killstraight: A Western Story (Five Star First Edition Western)

Spur Award-winning Author -- His Comanche name was His Arrows Fly Straight Into The Heart Of His Enemies. He was the only Kwahadi Comanche who had been sent East to the Carlisle Industrial School where he was educated among 136 frightened Lakotas, Cheyennes, Kiowas, and Pawnees. It was there that his name was changed to Daniel Killstraight. When he arrived at Fort Sill by train on his way back to the Comanche reservation, Killstraight was in time to witness the public hanging of Jimmy Comes Last, who had been convicted of the brutal murders of Thomas A. Benton and his wife Karen. He had known Jimmy and his mother all his life, and tried to comfort her after the hanging. She wants him to find out if her son really did the terrible things they hung him for. Hugh Gunter, a Cherokee lawman, has been appointed to take the body of Jimmy Comes Last back to the Comanche reservation for burial, and NasÚca and Killstraight are to accompany him. For Killstraight the matter is further complicated by the fact that, based on preliminary evidence, it could well be that what to white law enforcement is unthinkable happened, and Jimmy Comes Last, who refused right up to his hanging to say anything at all, might have been innocent of the charges brought against him. Johnny D. Boggs is a native of South Carolina, and now lives with his wife Lisa and son Jack in Santa Fe.

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From Booklist:

Daniel Killstraight, a Comanche student at the famed Carlisle Indian School, gets off a train in Arkansas and observes the public hanging of a convicted murderer. He is shocked to discover that the condemned man is an old friend, Jimmy Comes Last. Jimmy’s mother is there, and when she asks Daniel to find out whether her son really is the cold-hearted killer the law says he is, Daniel has no second thoughts; later, though, when he learns that the hanged man might have been innocent, he’s forced to choose between his people and the new world that his education offers him. This is a rousing story with an emotional and philosophical depth that will surprise readers who don’t expect complexity from a western. Genre veteran Boggs also explores the clash between white and native cultures, presenting them as both fundamentally different and strikingly similar. Boggs is a nimble storyteller, comfortable with tackling complex issues of race and morality while keeping the story moving at a steady pace. A good bet both for fans of traditional westerns and for those who look for more literary fare. --David Pitt

From Publishers Weekly:

Two-time Spur Award-winner Boggs (Camp Ford) relates the 1880s exploits of Daniel Killstraight, a Kwahadi Comanche returning from the Carlisle Industrial School in Pennsylvania. Daniel's train halts at Fort Smith, Ark., just as Jimmy Comes Last, a boyhood friend, is being led to the gallows, convicted of murdering a husband and wife: a white man and Creek Indian woman. Prompted by Jimmy's grief-stricken mother, Naséca, after the hanging, Daniel, whose education sets him apart, resolves to investigate. On arriving at the reservation with the body, U.S. Indian policemen Hugh Gunter and Harvey P. Noble induct Daniel into the force. While the plot is thin, Boggs draws raw tension from it, and the relationships and setting shine: Daniel—striving at once to solve the case and reconnect with Comanche ways—is a complex, winning protagonist. (June)
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