Thursday, June 09, 2011 Posted by Dina N
LIFE, NOT DEATH, DROVE JUBAL YOUNG... but memories of his ma and pa, and his beautiful, bright sister are all he has left. Memories of the peaceful days before Jubal stumbled home with his .22, his blood running cold with fear, terror, and anger. When it was over, the homestead was half burned to the ground. Someone had to bury the bodies. Someone had to set things right.
Now, as Jubal rides west into New Mexico, he remembers his family’s laughter and love, his pa’s wisdom, ma’s thick books, and everything that was defiled by a band of drunken renegades towed along by one man’s murderous grudge. A reprobate lawman won’t believe his story. A soft-hearted mountain man won’t survive Jubal’s one-man war. And a judge and his beautiful daughter cannot stop Jubal from climbing a peak of blood and madness: for justice, or payback, or something he can live for - or die for - redeeming.
I've admired Gene Hackman the actor for many years. When I discovered he'd written a book, I was very curious. I found out that Mr. Hackman was no novice at writing: he retired from acting in 2004 and co-authored three novels. Payback at Morning Peak is his first solo book.
I do not read many westerns but I am so glad I made an exception for Payback at Morning Peak. Mr. Hackman pens an engrossing story of crime and punishment, of evil and redemption. Jubal, the main character, is a 17 year old boy who is forced to become a man overnight after a group of renegades murders his family. Jubal is a kind and smart young man who sees no other choice but to avenge the deaths of his mother, father and sister. He is on a quest that threatens his body and his soul while quite aware of the risks he's taking.
Mr. Hackman's characters are well-drawn and convincing and his prose is vivid and detailed. I enjoyed reading Payback at Morning Peak and I hope for more novels by Gene Hackman.
Payback at Morning Peak is new this week from Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.
Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation - monetary or in kind - has been obtained for this post. Photo and book info courtesy of the publisher or PR firm.