This short western novel is the 10th in the Landon Saga by author Tell Cotten, and it drew me in from the first page. Picking up on adventures from the preceding book, Midway sees Texas Ranger Cooper Landon returning from fighting Apaches. He seeks only peace and quiet, but it’s not to be. His adopted son is growing up, his brother Yancy is getting married, his friend’s new cowpuncher is a dangerous alcoholic, the sheriff is an incompetent child barely out of his teens--and that’s just for starters. When a rough-edged Mexican with a vendetta against Yancy and a local rancher with a bad marriage show up in town, Cooper just keeps getting into situations. Sometimes there is no rest for the weary.
Midway was a stellar book and I enjoyed every minute of it. Tell Cotten is a minimalist and every word counts, making for a crisp, action-packed story that is easy to follow and easy to read. The humorous writing, the dry wit, and the memorable, sharply visualized characters had me deeply involved. Cooper and Yancy’s banter alone is priceless, but the cast around them is also good, keeping the story brisk and punctuated with surprises at every corner. Midway creates a thoroughly real western town populated by drunks, cranks, rough ranchers, romantic love-birds, and domestic violence—all while keeping it clean and entertaining, with a light satirical undertone that makes it stick out a notch from the crowd. Laced with unobtrusive flashbacks, it does fine as a stand-alone, meaning people can easily dive into this series. Highly recommended.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.