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City Of Widows [Hardcover]

Tor Books
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

May 8 1994
Page Murdoch, the hero of The High Rocks, sent by a judge to Mexico to kill a man, starts losing his bearings in an unfamiliar land where he cannot depend on anyone, not even the woman he loves.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Page Murdock, the stalwart, peripatetic hero of Estleman's lean and lively western, is fed up with marshaling for a domineering federal judge in the Montana Territory. Aiming to settle down, he buys himself a half interest in a bar in San Sabado, New Mexico Territory. But things don't go smoothly for the erstwhile lawman. Almost immediately he runs afoul of Frank Baronet, the corrupt and scheming county sheriff who has more to hide than just nefarious business dealings and graft. To make matters worse, upon his arrival in San Sabado--called the City of Widows because, as a haven for banditos and revolutionaries near the Mexican border, its male population is regularly decimated--Murdock finds that his partner in the saloon has taken on yet another partner, diminishing Murdock's share to only a third. Then there's Baronet's brother, supposedly dead but still robbing banks with abandon. Estleman ( Bloody Season ) brews all these elements together into a potent mix, enlivened by some of the best dialogue in the business. He skillfully mingles reality-based characters (Gov. Lew Wallace of Ben Hur fame, and Pat Garrett) with such fictional creations as Poker Annie (a cardplaying expert modeled on the real-life Poker Alice). As readers have come to expect of this veteran writer, he also displays an eye for detail and gift of description that transcends the genre.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In an act of personal vengeance, Judge Harlan Blackthorne of Montana Territory sends deputy U.S. Marshal Page Murdock to San Sabado, New Mexico, to bring to justice murderers Ross and Frank Baronet. As a cover for his activities, Murdock, reprised from Estleman's The Stranglers (Doubleday, 1984), buys into a friend's saloon. His task is complicated by the fact that Ross is reputed to be dead in Mexico, and Frank is the sheriff of Socorro County, where Murdock's saloon is located. Estleman, famed as much for his crime novels (e.g., Motown, LJ 6/15/91) as he is for Westerns, has crafted an excellent tale with believable dialog and complex characters. His research is meticulous, and his writing wastes no words. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
- Robert Jordan, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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5.0 out of 5 stars city of widows by loren d. estleman July 5 2004
Format:Hardcover
This story would be Ideal for the film media. Though it is a western novel,it bears the stamp of authenticity due to the fact that it was carefully researched, the characters were not just cardboard figures with dialogue but human beings living in Western United States in the 1870-1880's. Its setting is after the Lincoln County Wars when most of the males were killed off
during the fueds. Enter U.S. Marshall Page Murdock who is undercover searching for the Baronette Brothers who were guilty of a murder in the North,he is supposed to have retired from law enforcement. He was commisioned to bring in the baronnete brothers but had to do so quickly because the statute of limitations for their crime was approaching expiration. He bought a third interest in a saloon with an ex-lover who proves treacherous and one of the baronetted brothers who happens to be the Marshall in a neighboring town. The action in this story leads to a credible climax, it is a story which will have you waiting for the next Page Murdock Novel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars city of widows by loren d. estleman July 5 2004
By bernard haines - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This story would be Ideal for the film media. Though it is a western novel,it bears the stamp of authenticity due to the fact that it was carefully researched, the characters were not just cardboard figures with dialogue but human beings living in Western United States in the 1870-1880's. Its setting is after the Lincoln County Wars when most of the males were killed off
during the fueds. Enter U.S. Marshall Page Murdock who is undercover searching for the Baronette Brothers who were guilty of a murder in the North,he is supposed to have retired from law enforcement. He was commisioned to bring in the baronnete brothers but had to do so quickly because the statute of limitations for their crime was approaching expiration. He bought a third interest in a saloon with an ex-lover who proves treacherous and one of the baronetted brothers who happens to be the Marshall in a neighboring town. The action in this story leads to a credible climax, it is a story which will have you waiting for the next Page Murdock Novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Apaches,...if they were alone on the planet they've have picked a fight with the moon." May 25 2007
By J. Guild - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is my second novel by Loren D Estleman;the first being "Journey of the Dead" for which I wrote a Review on January 31,2007 and rated it 5*.
Although I enjoyed it more;this novel is somewhat similar in style.
Estleman includes a lot of historical connections,extensive ,almost to the point of excess descriptions. He spends a lot of effort in great detail on characters and other things;where in many cases I just wished he would get on with the story. As a result ,his writing,descriptions etc, outweigh the storyline.If that is what you like ,you'll really enjoy this author.
I notice from some of the author's other novels that he writes a lot of mystery and suspense;and this definately comes through in this novel;but less so in "Journey of the Dead".
Estleman combines historical facts,characters,events etc. with fiction and I find it somewhat of an aggravation to sort things out. In 1991 ,I spent a week in the area of Soccoro,Bosque del Apache,San Marcial,and Truth or Consequences; Birding.This is where most of this novel is set.There is still an Old Soccoro area,with many buildings from the 1880's,but I don't recall any Mesas,nor can I find any town of San Sabado on the atlas.The town of Truth or Consequences is still very active and it certainly was Geronimo's old stomping grounds. Actually,I remember seeing a spring where he came for water. The time period is 1881,and several references to the death of President Garfield are made along with those of Jay Gould,the Railroad Magnate,Lillie Langtree,the actress,Jack Rimfire a writer somewhat like Ned Buntline,Bill Cody,Billy the Kid ;just to name a few. Although I'm not positive, I doubt if Judge Blacktorne,Marshal Ortiz,Frank Baronet ever existed or were based on real characters. I'd like to know if otherwise.
Readers of the fast-ation westerns will note the similarity of the main character Page Murdock,to Curtis Long of "Longarm",Skye Fargo of "The Trailsman",or Ben Stillman and Lou Prophet ,Peter Brandvold writes about.
If your preference is descriptive writing,lots of historical association and mystery over barroom ,canyon and mainstreet fast-action and shoot-outs ;this novel should be right down your alley.
Estleman sprinkles his novels with great lines,such as these;

"Cheap meaning stole."

"Every great fortune begins with a crime."

"God's finger touched him and he slept."

"They were dressed all in black from bonnets to shoes,their dark
hems dragging like crow's wings in the dust of the street."

"California has its swallows and we have our magpies."

"Any town that is running out of widows can't be all bad."

"A man who arms himself in secret is a man who will come at you from
behind."

"Gold itself isn't wicked,only its source."

"There is no sport in hunting men.I never did it for sport."
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