Publication Date: August 4, 2013
It’s 1872; a gang of thugs is headed to rob a stagecoach and kidnap a young woman. The sheriff brothers, Yancy and Cooper Landon, head out to rescue her from her captors. Little do they know that an old adversary is also trying to help the woman. Will they find her in time?
Tell Cotten gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review. I must apologize to this author for the lateness of my review.
I had the pleasure of reviewing Cotten’s first novel, Confessions Of A Gunfighter. You can read that review by clicking here. Confessions Of A Gunfighter is a coming-of-age story. It is a first in the series in which this is the second and runs contemporaneously with this novel. Entwined Paths is a true Western in the best way that definition implies.
Yancy and Cooper Landon are true Western lawmen. They’re rough, tumble and willing to do what they need to do. As with the first novel, Cotten employs a light humor, organic to the western setting. In an atmosphere so heavy, it seems real hard not to take oneself so seriously. There are too many true dangers out there. This is witnessed in the band of killers and thugs that kidnapped Jessica. Yancy and Cooper know the danger and they know they’re on borrowed time. They are invested in the story with a true sense of urgency and often lack hope for the character they’re trying to save.
Readers will appreciate the strong female character in Entwined Paths. Jessica is no wilting violet. There is a scene in which she’s confronting her captors and she mentions that her uncle is a well-known cattleman of the area. The gang confirms knowing him and says they’ve taken some of his cattle to market. Jessica asks if her uncle knew they were “working” for him and one of the gang says that he didn’t, at the time. Those light moments in a situation in which the author could have had his female character trembling in fear and hog-tied to add an entertainment factor and respect for the character. Kill her if you want, but don’t be sure it’ll shut her up. Jessica is smart , can take care of herself and notices things that her companions don’t.
Cotten gives the reader a definite sense of place. Entwined Paths is a true Western. The reader can feel the heat and smell the dust. They sense what a wonderful experience a hot bath is after traveling for hours on horses. They are aware of the borrowed time on which Jessica is living. These are not good guys, and Cotten never gives us the sense that they are. They are brutal, awful and ready to kill if it suits their purposes without respect or regard to moral consequences.
You certainly don’t have to read Confessions Of A Gunfighter to enjoy Entwined Paths but I suggest that you do. The stories cross a bit and reading the former will give you insight into the some of the characters of the latter. Rondo is mentioned frequently in Entwined Paths.
If you like Louis L’amour, Max Brand, Zane Grey or any of the great Western writers, you’ll like Tell Cotten.
Read an excerpt and buy Entwined Paths (The Landon Saga Book 2) by Tell Cotten on
Tell Cotten is a seventh generation Texas and raises cattle in West Texas. His novel Confessions Of A Gunfighter won a number of awards including the honor of Best New Western in the Laramie Awards. For more information about Tell Cotten and his work, visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter @TellCotten.