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Outrage at Blanco: An Ellie Taine Thriller [Kindle Edition]

Bill Crider
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Crider’s prose slices through conventions and expectations,” –Booklist


It’s True Grit meets Gran Torino in a blazingly original crime novel from Bill Crider, an Edgar and Shamus finalist and a two-time winner of the Anthony Award

On a bloody day in 1887, death came to Blanco, Texas.

Before the sun went down, the livery stable was torched, an outlaw gang robbed the bank, two men were killed, and young newlywed Ellie Taine was raped. One of the dead was the man who planned the robbery – the son of dying, legendary Texas Ranger Jonathan Crossland – the other was Ellie’s husband, an innocent bystander.

The dead don’t know fear.

Ellie is dead inside. She takes a gun and rides out after the desperadoes, cold-blooded and fearless, determined to kill the men who ruined her life. She’s joined by Jonathan Crossland, who only has days left to live… but would rather die in his saddle making amends for his son than rot in his bed. Together, Ellie and Jonathan set out on a mission of vengeance and justice, one that neither of them expects nor hopes to survive.

“In the hands of Bill Crider, noir seems as atmospheric and doomful as ever,” Publisher’s Weekly

"Bill Crider is one of the most unpretentious and versatile pure entertainers in the mystery field." Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

On the day the bloodthirsty gang rode into Blanco, Texas, the bank was robbed, Ellie Taine was brutally assaulted, and her husband and another man were shot dead. Something within Ellie also died that day, and she would never be the same. Shotgun at her side, she rode out after the desperadoes and gave Texas one more outlaw--a woman bent on bloody revenge.

About the Author

Edgar Award Nominee, Shamus nominee, a two-time Anthony Award winner, and Derringer Award Winner. Bill Crider is a native Texan who’s lived in the state all his life, and he’s been reading, writing, and collecting mystery and western fiction for most of that time. He received a PhD from The University of Texas at Austin, where he wrote his dissertation on Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross MacDonald. He taught both high school and college before his retirement, and he combined his teaching career with his writing career, publishing more than 75 novels and an equal number of short stories. He’s best known for the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, which features a sheriff in a small Texas county. Though contemporary in setting, the Sheriff Rhodes books have many of the qualities of the classic western. Crider has also written a number of western novels, both under his own name several house names. When he’s not writing, Crider is reading one of the thousands (and thousands) of old paperbacks that he’s collected over the years or listening to music from decades past. He prefers baseball to football, likes old-time radio shows, and sometimes watches black-and-white movies. He’s married to the lovely Judy, who has collaborated with him on several stories and who is always his first reader and editor. They live the quiet life in Alvin, Texas, a small town between Houston and Galveston.

Product Details

  • File Size: 849 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Brash Books; 1 edition (September 2, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,388 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Shoot'em Up January 24, 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Outrage at Blanco is Bill Crider at his best. The characters are real and engaging. Their growth throughout the plot makes them believable. The reader is at once sympathetic and outraged when ruthless outlaws ravage first Ellie Taine's body by raping her, and then her home by killing her husband. As Ellie moves from being the victim to the hunter one cannot help but want to tag along. The rejuvenation of long-ill Jonathon Crossland lets the reader's own heart leap. A must read for all Crider fans and western enthusiasts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of action laced with thoughtful depth February 7, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a fan of Bill Crider, a writer known more for his mysteries than his westerns, I ordered this out-of-print western anxious to compare his early writing style with his later mystery genre. And the comparison is favorable in that Crider's many books have retained a vigorous story-telling style with perceptive characterizations. In some ways, we have read this story before--a lady is raped, her husband killed, a bank is robbed, and she decides to exact vengeance upon the perpetrators. As she seeks out this goal, she travels with the father of one of the bank robbers who was killed early in the story. The story progresses well and all works out in the end, at least almost!

Plenty of action adorns this saga of amoral bank robbers who seem to have little regard for human life and whose insensitivity is equal to their own selfishness. Leaving a trail of death and violence in their wake, they pound out a path of destruction and hatred to everyone including each other. In the process they shoot a sheriff, and cause grave suspicion to infect their own gang. Eventually, injury and violence becomes self-directed and they meet their own destiny as they seek to escape judgment.

On the surface, this seems to be typical kind of western, yet a deeper look reveals a journey of human growth, perception, and purposeful living. The woman realizes that she receives little satisfaction from her vengeance and the father realizes that he is on the last ride of his life. Recognizing the sadness of his own son's life, he sets out to self-actualize his world by helping the woman. In the end we see the results of crime, of goodness, of fortitude, and mostly of living a life of integrity.

This is an unusual book in that it seems to reside somewhere deeper in the emotions than most westerns.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Western Drama July 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
OUTRAGE AT BLANCO has been one of my favorite Westerns ever since I first read it in paperback back in the late nineties. Having re-read it again in its reissued Kindle version, I find it has lost none of its power. And, one hopes, this new release will reach a whole batch of new readers.
It is a revenge story, which is certainly not uncommon to Westerns. The fact that its central protagonist is female gives the revenge plot a certain distinction, but that also has been done plenty of times before. The real bonus here is the depth of characterization, the plot twists, and the tangled motivations of the various players as presented by the skilled hand of author Bill Crider. Ellie Taine --- the aforementioned central protagonist --- is especially well drawn and memorable. So, too, is Jonathan Crossland, a man essentially dying of cancer who is "resurrected" to hit the trail one last time in an effort to try and set some things right regarding his greedy, no-good son.
There's plenty of action in this fast-paced tale, but the revelations and shifting interactions between its characters --- some good, some bad, a couple somewhere in between --- is what will make the most lasting impression on readers.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Western July 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the story of a woman wanting revenge and a dying old man wanting the same. Ellie Taine had been raped, then her husband murdered when he went after them. Jonathan Crossland was dying from cancer and had a weak son that got involved with three men to rob the bank and get his father's money. The young man had been shot by his fellow conspirators.

The robbery was a disappointment. Old Crossland had moved his money to another bank and all that came of it was a small amount of money and two dead people, a bank clerk and Ellie's husband.

Ellie set out to get the men and found the dead Crossland heir and the town's sheriff at the Corssland ranch. Old Jonathan and she set out to get the three men.

But things changed as they rode. Reasons for revenge seemed petty. Old Crossland didn't have long to live and Ellie wanted the law to handle it.

Author Bill Crider turns the revenge plot on it's head and sends the tale in a different direction. Still, things get done.

Nice western.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Distaff Vigilante on the Prod November 13, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
“Outrage at Blanco” by Bill Crider is a western with a twist; the central character is a woman. Ellie Taine is her name and the author did not make her just another fair prairie rose to be rescued. When she is brutally raped by two outlaws in the first pages, Ellie morphs from victim to pursuer by sheer strength of will. Her pursuit of her assailants is thoughtfully written, with an underlying humanity that is unexpected. She questions her decisions, reconsiders her pursuit and finds mercy for the rapists tugging at her conscience.

Some details could use adjustment: A garden in its final days would be more likely to have corn, peas and beans ready for harvest and storage for the coming winter - not tomatoes; Animals being left alone for an indefinite period would be let out to pasture where they can look out for themselves, not put in a barn; The Colt Navy .36 Caliber Revolver belonging to Ellie’s husband is a cap and ball weapon that was used during the Civil War which ended 22 years prior to the story–– a man who owned his own farm would be unlikely to carry such a weapon given the violent times he lived in; Why would the picture on the cover be of a man wearing modern aviator style sunglasses if the story is set in 1887?

Western carnage aficionados will find plenty to enjoy in this story of the old west while being treated to a new kind of heroine. “Outrage at Blanco” is a ripping read in just 192 pages, and I hope to see more from Ellie Taine in the future.

I was given an eARC of “Outrage at Blanco” by NetGalley and Brash Books in exchange for this review.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book
Enjoyed this book, although it was in need of some editing with the arc copy I received. Nice to have a female as the main character in a western, kept me interested throughout.
Published 4 days ago by Erinne_JC
5.0 out of 5 stars Characters are top notch
Could not put this book down. I read it on my Kindle, on my phone...anytime I could sneak a couple pages in, I would. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lynn Chandler Willis
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Characterizations
There’s no mystery here, just strong well-sketched characters who are confronted with horrible, bloody and outrageous acts: Just characters imbued with pungent direct language and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by carl brookins
5.0 out of 5 stars Taut Western
Bill Crider is one of the best writers of western stories I've read since Tony Hillerman. He brings his characters and story to life, and lets the reader in on the thoughts,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Edie
4.0 out of 5 stars great western
I look forward to reading more from this series, and anything else Bill Crider has written. He tells the story.
Published 7 months ago by dominic stabile
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting western action.
Bill Crider write in many different genres and I enjoy them all but his westerns are unusual to me. I don't usually read westerns but his writing style and characterizations makes... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dale
5.0 out of 5 stars A story to be read and shared.
From the opening scene I was riveted with horror and sorrow. I felt the powerful pull of shame and fear. My shoes were walking in Ellis Taine`s disgrace, her blame and remorse. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical western
Bill Crider has penned an extraordinary western in Outrage at Blanco. Not only does he introduce characters of the likable and atypical quality, but his sense of time, place and... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sara Barnard
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellie is a new and refreshing kind of heroine.
I liked this book for many reasons. It has adventure, surprises, and the baddies get it in the end. My kind of Western.
Published 8 months ago by Phil Dunlap
5.0 out of 5 stars Going Texas Western Style in "Outrage At Blanco" by Bill Crider
A trip to town and back for Ellie Taine has gone very wrong as this western from author Bill Crider begins. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kevin Tipple
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More About the Author

I was born and brought up in Mexia (that's pronounced Muh-HAY-uh by the natives), Texas, went to college at The University of Texas and North Texas State University, and taught high school and college classes for many years. In 2002 I retired as Chair of the Division of English and Fine Arts at Alvin Community College, in Alvin, Texas. I'm married to the lovely Judy, and we have two grown children, Angela, who's an attorney in San Francisco, and Allen, who's in the music business in Austin. Other than that, I'm a pretty boring guy.

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