Whether in a movie or a book, sometimes I just love a good Western. I’d read an interview with author Frank Roderus and decided to check out his book Bad Boys
It’s a bit different from the typical gunslinger showdown story. Danny Southern is introduced in the beginning as a reformed “bad boy” whose past has caught up with his clean-living present.
The story then goes back to recount the day Danny and his friend Henry met Red when he moved to their small town in eastern Kansas. After beating each other up, the trio became fast friends. Red introduced the other boys to petty theft and other mischief for which they never seemed to get into trouble. With disturbing accuracy, Bad Boys shows how the young men progressed to more violent crimes.
The gang developed a near fool-proof procedure, until a failed stagecoach robbery injured Danny and his best friends left him to die on the side of the road.
But Danny survived and had to figure out how to make it in the West with few useful skills. This transition made for an interesting story, as Danny’s ethics proved relative. It’s not until the very end of the story that Red and Henry show up and intrude on Danny’s plans to propose to his lady friend.
The showdown in the street takes awhile to get to, but it was definitely worth it. I would have liked more time spent with Danny coming to terms with his past and deciding how best to deal with his old friends. It is currently selling at just a bit above cheap at $5.99 on the Kindle.