THE HELL BENT KID                           CHARLES O. LOCKE

The Hell Bent KidHailed 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 Incident, True 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.

This book is a reissue and I must say I had never read this author before, but I really liked this book. If you like westerns I think you would like it as well. The main part of the story without giving away to many details. Is a young man being chased across Texas, and into the dessert by gun hands working for a ranch owner who believes that he killed one of his sons. The Rancher though goes after his family besides the young man. He knows so many people that there are only a few that want to help the boy and they do so without any trouble from the rancher. This all sets up for a show down and when you come to the end you wonder who if anyone really is a winner. A well written story and done so in a way that the story just continues from page to page and the characters are well thought out as well. A really good book. i got this book from net galley.  I give this 5 stars.

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