New West meets old West values: That's how this book was described, so of course I had to take a look. Turns out that's a pretty accurate description. Having grown up in the Southwest, and hearing many a tale of Apache prowess from my father (an old cowboy and wannabe pioneer), there was a ring of truth throughout.
Make no mistake: ex-Ranger Mahko is a bad dude, and model of an old-school action hero, but not without his flaws and not invincible. The tough love and surreptitious raising of his son appeals to me, and probably would appeal to any man who feels shortchanged and underequipped for life by his own father. The tragedy that befell Mahko's wife, Maria, is hinted at now and then, and finally explained, but I would have enjoyed just a touch more delving into that poignant aspect of Mahko's character.
The villains were believable, and painfully human. I found it...I dunno, refreshing? charming?...that despite the barbaric behavior of some characters in this novel (making for gritty, if not gruesome, action), the budding romance between Geronimo and Laura was depicted so innocently, with a tender finesse.
These are great characters that would be fun to follow through more adventures.
Hell and Gone