Review: Retribution Rails

When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

Okay, so apparently I am way dumber than I thought. Or, so my past few companion novel reads seem to indicate. Anyways, I’ll get onto that, but just know that apparently, I am a ditz.

Retribution Rails occurs ten years after Vengeance Road and is a companion novel in the most traditional sense. Recently, it seems that many companion novels are spins off, about totally unrelated characters that just happen to be in the same world. However, that was not the case here; the same characters were majorly important to the plot (and were in most of the book), and the plot itself was a continuation of the original. So, it’s been literally years since I read Vengeance Road, and I was confused reading this novel. I didn’t realize that the characters or plot were from the original novel (that is the previously mentioned brain fart).

So, just keep that in mind. This is not an a standalone. Anyways! The writing was wonderful. She had some very interesting POVs going on, that allowed some complex character development. I generally can’t make it through Wild-West novels, but somehow Bowman’s writing style compels me to keep reading.  She writes the kind of story that is just as much about the people themselves, as it is about the plot. Every character is on an individual path of self-discovery, and it is fascinating.

Plus! Charlotte went through an incredibly fascinating battle with the societal expectations for her during the era. I found it super compelling and accurate! If you have any interest in historic fiction, this is a safe bet!

3.5 out of 5.


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