Blake has become a master of historical fiction (In the Rogue Blood), and this latest novel is a great read from start to finish, full of grit, local color, and a large cast of vibrant characters—as well as a full measure of pitiless frontier violence. Set in Mexico and Texas from the 1820s to the 1920s and based partly on Blake's own family, this brawling, high-spirited, and superbly realized family saga chronicles three generations of the Wolfe family, beginning with family patriarch Roger Blake Wolfe, a pirate captured and executed by Mexican authorities in 1828. At the center of the novel are twin brothers Blake and James Wolfe, who grow up on a remote Mexican hacienda and rise from humble beginnings as crocodile hunters to become gun runners and finally major landowners in Texas, with large families and powerful friends.
VERDICT This novel offers many pleasures, including endearing characters, unlikely love stories, and all manner of mayhem. Highly recommended for fans of literary fiction.