Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Tale Out of Luck

A Tale Out of Luck
by Willie Nelson with Mike Blakely
Published by Center Street/Hachette Book Group

Most of us know Willie Nelson as a legendary country singer, and not so much as a writer of novels. But let me tell you, the imagination and creativity he brought to his songwriting, he has brought to his first novel. What a tale he has spun in this book!

This book is a western, set in Nelson's invented town of Luck, Texas, in the late 1800's. Just outside of town lies the Broken Arrow Ranch, where retired ranger captain Hank Tomlinson lives with his son, Jay Blue, and his adopted son, Skeeter Rodriguez. Hank has just bought a Thoroughbred racehorse mare from Kentucky, and Jay Blue is supposed to be on night watch. Instead, he gets Skeeter to watch, while he heads into town to try and woo one of the barmaids, Jane Catlett. At some point during the night, Skeeter goes to sleep and the mare disappears.

Convinced that the mare was stolen, Jay Blue and Skeeter set off to find her on their own. During this crazy adventure, they meet up with an albino names Jubal Hayes, that is known as a "mustang whisperer." They convince him to help, and in the process end up catching an uncatchable wild stallion.

While the boys are gone looking for the mare, an unknown man turns up dead, and Hank thinks a ghost Indian has come back from his past to kill him. While he is busy trying to find out who killed the man, an out of town reporter shows up and starts pointing to Hank as the killer. And while this is going on, the neighboring rancher sets off and Indian attack by killing a hunting party that was just passing through.

The twists and turns in this book are really capable of keeping you reading, wondering what crazy thing is going to happen next. And the ending does not disappoint. You will constantly be guessing who did what, only to find some other clue to make you think it's someone else. And when you finally get to know who did it, you will shake your head, as it won't be who you think it is.

This was a really good book, especially for his first novel. I am usually not into westerns, but this was a good one. If you are looking for a good story, Willie Nelson has delivered.

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