Cover image for West to Comanche County
West to Comanche County
Bowman, Doug.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, 2000.
Physical Description:
303 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
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Format :


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When Kirb Renfro and his wife left Tennessee for the vast plains of Texas, they were looking for a place to call home. Kirb acquires a small ranch and finds his dreams coming true. Then during their first winter, that dream is shattered. Kirb finds his wife raped and murdered. Kirb goes on a manhunt, acquiring the reputation as the most heartless killer in Texas history.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

When Kirb Renfro and his wife, Ellie, leave post^-Civil War Tennessee for a new life in Texas, they think hard work and love will overcome anything. The money they saved buys a nice spread, but it's in Comanche County, one of the most lawless and dangerous areas in the Southwest. Their idyllic world is shattered when Ellie is raped and murdered while Kirb is out tending cattle. His heart hardened, Kirb sets out to exact revenge on the three men who effectively ended his life, too. One by one he tracks them down and in the process establishes a reputation as one of the most deadly men in a dangerous land. Bowman, a respected veteran of the western genre, adds new depth to the timeworn tale of the loner out for revenge by paying attention not just to the violence but also to the Renfros' life before the murder. This context makes Kirb's white-hot pain more real and his obsession for revenge credible. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Following his peculiar horse opera, The Copelands, Bowman cranks out a ninth western novel, the story of an uninspired journey down the much-traveled trail of revenge. The year is 1870. Kirb Renfro, having lost his parents in a cabin fire the summer before, marries his childhood sweetheart Ellie and convinces her to pull up stakes in western Tennessee and head for a new life in Texas. Along the trail they meet Gaylord Brownrigg, also on his way to Texas. Brownrigg has inherited a large cattle ranch called the Lazy Bee in Comanche County, reportedly a lawless Gomorrah on the prairie and he offers Kirb a job as a ranch hand. Kirb and Ellie follow the Brownrigg entourage to Comanche, where they find they are able to buy a small ranch of their own while Kirb works at the Lazy Bee for extra cash. Although a rancher and family man, Kirb inexplicably decides he needs to take quick-draw lessons from his saddle pal, the chatty, lightning fast Clay Summer. All his leather-slapping practice pays off, however, when Ellie is raped and murdered by three ne'er-do-wells, and Kirb decides to track down the guilty varmints himself. Some nifty detective work by the local marshal and testimony from an odd character named the Ginseng Man sets Kirb on their trail. This narrative, like Bowman's earlier books, is filled with reams of extraneous detail (he provides the menu for every one of Kirb's meals), unrealistic characters and action scenes that belie the description. The tedium of the journey to Texas in the first half of the novel is barely relieved by the predictable confrontations in the second half. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved