Based on the true story of Harry Tracy, an 1890s con artist, petty thief, rustler and jailbird, the tale begins during Tracy’s impoverished childhood—but don’t look for a sympathetic folk hero.
Drinking, gambling, mugging and sticking up grocery stores, Tracy is a loner who travels the West, breaking one law after another, without an apparent conscience. Readers will lose respect for this guy when he lures his innocent, consumptive girlfriend into helping him break out of prison. When he dies in a posse shoot-out, it’s hard to feel sorry for him since he has only been thinking of himself. Garwood’s laudable writing skills turn a hero-less story into a haunting read. —Phyllis Morreale-de la Garza