Fiction - Western
196 Pages
Reviewed on 03/02/2014
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite

Cooper by Tell Cotten opens in 1872 in New Mexico Territory. There are a few stories going on within the pages of this book. The author transitions so smoothly and ties them together so expertly that I was left satisfied, but his knack for storytelling left me wanting more! Cooper Landon and his brother Yancy set out to find the man that robbed a stagecoach and murdered several people. Along the way, they meet a woman named Josie who was raised by the Apache. When Cooper is shot in the hip, his brother leaves Cooper and Josie at the Midway trading post and continues the search. About this time, Josie spots several Apache Indians painted for war so she convinces Cooper to leave and head into the mountains. After a week, they decide to go home and that's when Cooper finds himself facing outlaws and what looks like certain death. Meanwhile Yancy gets his man and realizes that Cooper is missing and decides to search for him. With plenty of outlaws, Indians, and a few lawmen roaming around on the mountain, one can't help but wonder what's going to happen.

Tell Cotten certainly knows how to tell a story. His ability to create strong, well-fleshed characters and a page-turning, action-packed read kept me riveted from beginning to end! He truly portrays the way the west was, with gun fights, the good guy going after the bad guy, and of course stage coach robberies and Indians. With all this packed into the story there was never a dull moment. The descriptive prose really had me imagining the scenes as they unfolded. I found myself laughing on more than one occasion, but also totally surprised more than once as well. Plenty of well thought out action made the plot zoom along, allowing me to read this book in one sitting. I loved the character of Cooper; it seemed that something was always going on where he was concerned. While Cooper is the third book in the Landon saga, it can easily be read as a stand-alone work. The author provides a glimpse of Rondo, the next book in the Landon Saga and I can't wait to read it!

Natasha Jackson

Cooper is the story of Cooper Landon and his journey home after a trip into the New Mexico territory to trap beavers. It ends with him hunting outlaws and Indians. He’s got his true love Josie, who was raised by the Apache Indians, by his side after rescuing her from an old acquaintance. On their way back to Texas with a collection of beaver pelts, Cooper and Josie encounter heaps of trouble in the form of a vengeance-seeking gun runner, hoping to find his sharp-shooting brother and Sheriff Yancy along the way. Tell Cotten writes the story of Cooper Langdon sharply and simply, exactly the way you expect Cooper to talk. He doesn’t mince words and he isn’t poetic, but some of the things he says are beautiful all the same.

What I enjoyed most about Cooper is that it reads almost like a caper. There are good guys, bad guys, Indians, a couple of gorgeous women, and a few in between guys you’ll have to read about to find out where they fall in the outlaw spectrum. With outlaws chasing law men and law men chasing Indians and Indians chasing outlaws, the story of Cooper and the other Langdon brothers is such a good time that at points it is almost farcical. The beauty of Cooper is in the plain writing style of Tell Cotton. He doesn’t muddle the story with a voice that tries too hard to sound like a true Texas cowboy, but somehow comes across as a rough-hewn cowboy that has been through hell and back and is just eager to set foot on Texas soil once again.

Through and through the story of Cooper is a plain old good time. Throw in a jailbreak, an inept second-in-command deputy, and a set of disappearing and reappearing beaver pelts, and this book will keep you laughing until the last page.

Michael McManus

Cooper Landon is an ex-lawman from West Texas. At the beginning of our story, he finds himself in a trading post near the mountains of New Mexico, where he meets Josie, a beautiful young gal who lived for twelve years with the Apache Indians after a war party killed her mother and father. Josie knows the ways of the Apache, especially the one known as No Worries, and she warns Cooper that the warrior plans to attack the trading post. The two leave and spend a week hiding in the mountains, where they trap dozens of beaver, amassing a large number of valuable skins to sell when they get back to Texas. They decide to get married and use the money from the furs to build a cabin and start a farm. The problem is, they keep running into outlaws and Indians on their way back to Texas, and everyone they meet wants to steal their pelts. Meanwhile, Cooper’s brother Yancy and his cousin Rondo Landon hear about the trouble at the trading post and head to the mountains to find Cooper and Josie. They run into their own problems, and it starts to look like all of the trouble will come to a head in one spot. It wouldn't be much of a story if it didn't.

Tell Cotton, the author of Cooper, has put together a great cast of characters, reminiscent of the Saturday morning westerns that showed on TV in the 1950s. Reading this book made me want to light out on a horse and ride to the hills, just like Hopalong Cassidy and the Lone Ranger did when I was a small boy. This book should appeal to a general audience, with its memorable descriptions, its economical dialogue, and its pace that is as fast as the bullet on the book’s cover. I will be reading more from Tell Cotton, I can tell you that.

Kathryn Bennett

Cooper by Tell Cotton continues the story of the Landon Brothers, Cooper and Yancy. Cooper finds himself injured and stranded in the mountains, needing to use all of his wits to survive and keep what is his. If being injured and in the mountains wasn’t enough, he has to face off with Indians and outlaws as well. Yancy, meanwhile, is not going to let his brother wither away in the mountains; he will find Cooper no matter what he has to overcome, be it fire, escaped criminals, missing money or Lee Mattingly.

If you want a book with deep adventure and great family ties, Cooper by Tell Cotton is that book. There is something gripping about a story of this nature detailing the struggles and adventures of two brothers. I only planned to read a chapter or two at a time while doing some spring housework. I ended up reading the book cover to cover in one day, and that tells you how inviting this book really is. The descriptions and scene setting in this book are extremely detailed and make the story leap off the page for you. Because of that detail, you can almost see the characters taking the rides that they do, smell what they would smell, and I love that. While the book is excellent, it is not what I would call a stand-alone. It is the third book in the series and the book will be better enjoyed if you have read the other two first, even though it does offer a small prologue. The bottom line is this book has an expertly spun story and I would recommend it to anyone.

Samantha Rivera

Cooper is the story of a lawman searching for his way home. He’s traveling with a young woman who’s had an interesting life. Cooper is hoping to find his brother when they finally make their way back. But traveling home isn’t going to be as easy as he might have hoped. Instead, they’ll run across dangerous lawmen, Indians on the war-path, and more as they struggle to keep themselves alive and find their families along the way. In this book of danger and adventure, Cooper and Yancy Landon are definitely going to make sure their enemies get what they deserve.

Cooper by Tell Cotton is an interesting adventure. I was really intrigued by the things that Cooper, Josie, Yancy, Lee, Brian and all the rest went through trying to keep themselves alive, recover lost money, and bring the law to a lawless mountainside. There’s definitely more to all of these people than meets the eye and I can’t wait to find out even more of what’s going to happen to them. I felt really interested in Cooper and wanted to know even more than the book told. I was amazed by Josie who had been through so much in such a young life and yet she overcame it very well. Even with the short amount of time with Jessica, I felt like she was an interesting person. Being able to see into each character’s head really made this an excellent telling of a very well-written story. Wonderful plot and wonderful characters.