Jack Laramie drives his horse-box home into Texas. His welcome at a diner is far from warm and there are fireworks from the off.
As Jack dusts himself down, he encounters Mr Othmer. Othmer is an old rancher who has seen it all. During the great depression, he learned that it’s no fun being down at the bottom of the pile and this has taught him to be humble and generous. He takes Jack on as a hired hand and the drifter detective allows himself to settle down for a spell.
Dynamics change when Mr Othmer’s daughter is threatened and protection money is demanded. In the small town where they live, there’s only one hood big enough to do such a thing and this hood has previous history with Mr Othmer. Jack decides to intervene in this personal battle and is soon sucked into a vortex of family secrets and manipulation. He also finds himself in trouble with a bunch of hard men with no moral scruples whatsoever.
Torn And Frayed (US) continues the series very nicely indeed. The glimpses into American history are nicely woven into the thread and the spirit of Cash Laramie is ever-present and always welcome.
Gritty, moody and atmospheric with bursts of action punctuating the tale. Here’s looking forward to book 8.