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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Death Followed The U.S. Deputy Marshal by Raymond Cook is a Western novel set at the turn of the last century. The story is primarily about Arabella, a dynamic Deputy U.S. Marshal working to maintain law and order in the unruly Wild West. Arabella is thrust right into the action as she enters a mining town where a bank robbery is taking place by Jim Yarborough and his gang. She quickly gets involved in the ensuing action and manages to take Jim, the gang leader, captive. This is where the story really begins as we follow Arabella’s journey while the gang members attack the jail to rescue their leader. Their journey takes them cross-country fleeing the gang as they try to reach a town to catch the train to Denver, and includes all the inherent dangers such as harsh weather conditions, attacks by the gang, attacks by wildlife in the area which can be life threatening, and more. Along the way, Marlin Abbott, a rancher, also gets involved in her journey and this is both of their stories.
Death Followed The U.S. Deputy Marshal by Raymond Cook is a fast-paced, typical Western thriller. The one thing that sets this story apart from others right away is the central presence of a strong female character. In the days when women were mostly confined to their homes and to traditional occupations, it’s refreshing to read about a female deputy marshal. Arabella's character is well drawn and never feels caricatured or stereotyped in any way. I loved her battles with the outlaws where she could stand shoulder to shoulder with a man. The wildlife and the overall feel of the late 1800s and early 1900s has also been well captured. I think fans of Western fiction will enjoy this novel.