In his meticulously researched, debut historical Western, McKendree Long takes the reader on a journey to the Civil War era, as experienced by homesteaders and soldiers in the far-flung outposts of the Old West. A must-read for fans of the genre!
Second Lieutenant Thomas “Dobey” Walls, a West Point Graduate, and Corporal Jimmy Melton, a non-commissioned soldier, meet at the military outpost of Fort Gibson, just off the Arkansas River, in 1859. As they work side-by-side to protect wagon trains traveling through their territory, fighting off roaming bands of raiders and Kansas “Jayhawkers,” the two men become fast friends.
No Good Like It Is follows the daily lives of these men as they work at the Old West outposts, journey to Texas to join up with the famous Texas Terry’s Rangers during the Civil War, and ultimately search for the remaining members of a Wall’s homesteading family in the wilds of Texas Panhandle country.
Long’s gifted ear for the true vernacular of the time and his detailed descriptions of the Old West place the reader right in the middle of the action along with these two men and the colorful characters they encounter during their adventures.
Walls and Melton embody the best of human values, exemplified through the valor of their actions, their honesty, and their determination to fight for what they believe to be just and right. These men leap off the page, remaining memorable long after the reader finishes the book.
But above all, this is the story of men who meet and become friends, and whose characters are shaped by a series of dramatic historical events that defined our country.
This novel goes beyond the typically simplistic view of the Civil War, delving into the divided loyalties of the homesteaders in the American West who found their families and friends fighting on opposite sides of the war. Long accurately portrays the dangers and shifting alliances of the Old West during the war, exposing the reader to a very different view of the war’s effects on the western states.
No Good Like It Is, the first of three gritty action-packed novels that follow the adventures of Dobey Walls and Jimmy Melton, well written with historical accuracy and authentic dialog. Readers will be eager for the sequels.