I’d never read a western by David Robbins(he writes the Wilderness series as by David Thompson) before this one, but I am a longtime fan of his Endworld series and the off-shoot Blades. They belong in that genre of after-a-holocaust books. He’s also written a number of Bolan/Executioner tales, as well as an entry in the Hardy Boys set, some of the Ralph Comptons, and a large number under his own name.
BLOOD FEUD is a western set in the Ozarks, at least the beginning, and is a revenge tale, though I found it a bit different.
The Shannons and the Harkey clans were longtime enemies, though a twenty year peace had existed after the two patriarchs, Jed Shannon and Ezriah Harkey, had run into each other on neutral ground and talked, finding both were tired of the killing for reasons long forgot, hammering out a cease fire.
All that was about to end.
Eighteen year old Scarlett Shannon slips onto Harkey land to pick blackberries. She’s not worried as she’s fleet of foot and can outrun any Harkey. What she doesn’t count on is it being seven males that find her. She crawls home, raped and savagely beaten.
Buck Shannon, Scarlett’s Pa, and his two brothers, Granger and Fox, all farmers, ride to Harkey land to prevail on old Ezriah for justice. They are never seen again.
The Harkeys thought that was an end to it.
They didn’t realize, no one did, that sixteen year old Chace Shannon would take up the feud. Chace was different from the other Shannons. He hated farming. He’d killed his first man at eleven when he’d caught a drunk man trying to rape his identical twin sister, Cassie, and pushed him from the livery stable loft, breaking his neck.
It didn’t bother the boy a bit and the pair slipped away, no one ever knowing it wasn’t as accident.
The Harkeys, starting with old Ezriah and his witch wife, Woman, are about to find out just what they’ve unleashed. Though not much more than a boy, he will do anything to learn the identities of the seven Harkeys responsible, and they are going to pay!