The Devil’s Hoofprints (High Hill Press, $16.95)

evil-hoofprints_brett-cogburn_comanache-raids.The Devil’s Hoofprints is an anthology consisting of 13 short stories aimed at action-oriented readers. This collection is written by an author who obviously knows guns, horses and cows, as Brett Cogburn packs each tale with nonstop shoot-outs, fist fights, Comanche raids and crusty Mountain Men.

However, Cogburn’s stories are long on crude characters right out of a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western, while short on believable plots, inspiring protagonists or satisfying denouements. The women appear to enjoy abuse or are mean-spirited “battle-axes” or “old biddies.” Good stories come from good writing, but this collection needed polish. —Phyllis Morreale-de la Garza

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