Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Hell Bent Kid by Charles O Locke


Hailed by the Western Writers of America as one of the top twenty-five Westerns ever written: The harrowing story of an innocent young man pursued across west Texas by a relentless posse 

A crack shot more skilled with a rifle than are men twice his age, eighteen-year-old Tot Lohman has no intention of using his genius for evil. But when a fight erupts at a schoolhouse dance, Lohman is forced to defend himself, and a young rancher named Shorty Boyd winds up dead. The Boyds are numerous, powerful, and vicious, and they want revenge. With no one else to turn to, Lohman sets out across canyon country to reunite with his ailing father in New Mexico Territory. The journey will be long, hot, and perilous, and to survive it, this mild-mannered boy must become the cold-blooded killer he never wanted to be. 
Based on real events, The Hell Bent Kid is a tale of pursuit as stark and mesmerizing as the Southwestern landscape in which it is set. Unrelenting from first page to last, it ranks alongside The Ox-Bow IncidentTrue Grit, and The Searchers as one of the most unique and artful stories of the West ever told. In 1958 it was adapted into the film From Hell to Texas, directed by the famed Henry Hathaway and starring Don Murray, Diane Varsi, Chill Wills, and Dennis Hopper.

Review by Mirella Patzer

A good western novel is always in demand. The Hell Bent Kid has been classified as one of the top 25 westerns of all time! And I can clearly see why. The protaganist is named Tot who in defense of himself ends up killing a member of a wealthy, notorious family. He must flee for his life as the men of this family vow revenge and pursue him. In his flight he faces numerous adversities, serious circumstances where his life is in danger. Tot is a character with a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. Through every conflict, luck and wisdom help him survive. 

The story unfolds through Tot in first person narrative and later in documents, letters, and statements. The author does a stellar job of bringing the harsh west to life. His writing is succinct and to the point, and the novel is a quick read with never a dull moment. Plenty of action filled scenes and fascinating, well-developed, credible characters line the pages. The ending is fabulous! One of my favourite westerns! Go and read it!


Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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