Jerks in Arizona History (Globe Pequot Press, $16.95)

Sam_Lowe_historial_Arizona_felonsSam Lowe’s Jerks in Arizona History is even stranger than its title. This book consists of an 18-chapter hodgepodge about nearly every crook, train robber, horse thief, con man, prostitute, bigamist, cattle rustler, rapist, gunslinger, scam artist, murderer and jailbird who ever lied, cheated, jumped bail or was lynched in Arizona.

The author’s nonstop bombardment has readers either laughing or fuming, depending upon how much you already know about these cases. The chapters hop around from various time periods, lacking continuity. One minute you’re reading about 1880s Ike Clanton, followed by the 1970s Miranda ruling. Without footnotes, overall accuracy is questionable. But if you like nonstop grisly tales, this book is for you.

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