Death Rides a Red Horse Cotton Smith, Leisure Books, $5.99, Softcover; 212-725-8811.

death-rides-a-red-horseThe Bar K Ranch owes its hardy growth to the stalwart Kerry brothers. Luther, the eldest, is slow but dependable.

Cole, the youngest, is a former outlaw. Their middle brother Ethan is blind. The Kerry brothers join forces when a border ruffian, Victorio Gee, and his gang raid Uvalde, Texas, and kidnap Cole’s young wife. Ethan’s bullet-studded campaign hounds Gee relentlessly until the injured Cole gets his Kathleen back. Then comes the holiday season, which Gee plans to celebrate by decimating the Bar K. Facing him, the three brothers stand ready for a Christmas in Hell. Cotton Smith’s Bar K bids fair to become a harder-edged Flying U. (That ranch was made famous by Bertha M. Bower’s 1906 novel.) —William Garwood

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