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Legend of the Sierra Madre Paperback – August 14, 2011
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The story is well plotted, details are rich and add to the story. You can see the places in your mind, and oftentimes I could swear, I could smell it as well. As with the first, I enjoyed the blending of Spanish phrases-some translated, some you can figure out even if you don't know Spanish.
Summer is coming. This is a good novel to take to beach or read while sitting on your porch with your favorite beverage and yes, maybe light a cigar to add to the enjoyment.
After blowing up his father's hacienda, with his father in it, Trouble retreats to his cabin in the hills to live out his life in peace and isolation. But when he returns home he finds a young expectant mother living there who does not wish to leave. Jenny soon falls in love with the young Trouble, though he wants nothing to do with her. Their relationship becomes more complicated when she loses the baby after an encounter with the bandit Garcia who has come looking for Trouble.
When the local priest discovers that Trouble may know where his father's legendary fortune in gold is buried, he becomes determined to find it. The motives of the priest and Garcia soon become intertwined as the lure of vast riches begin to consume them and they become unlikely allies.
On a remote hunt to round up some wild mustangs, Trouble suspects that the men he's with may be plotting against him. When Trouble fails to return from the hunt, Jenny sets out in search of him despite the dangers she faces and the odds against her.
Although reading the first book in the series (Forty Grains of Black Power) is not necessary to enjoy or follow this story, it does help to understand the driving force behind Trouble's actions.
The pacing is never slow, but it definitely picks up as the story progresses and tension mounts as Trouble's fate becomes uncertain. Rich details of the terrain and settings make the story come alive, and a sprinkling of Spanish add authenticity. The characters are well crafted with complex motivations, conflicting desires, and deep flaws.
An engaging story, intriguing characters, and vivid descriptions make the Legend of the Sierra Madre a compelling read.
And you won't be sorry you did. The story gets better and better. And by the time this one is over, you are definitely looking forward to the next installment of this story.
If you don't already love the country it's set in, I believe you'll come to love it and even want to visit. It's too bad that lately the news from that part of the world is frightening. But in a way, that makes this story even more compelling - being set in a place that we need to think twice before visiting. I'd love to see this series continue on into the situation we see today where the occupants of that denizen appear to be either very lucky to be alive or very bad hombres. But it's not hard to believe that there are a lot of good people going about their daily struggle to get by, and you see some of them in this series, as well as the very bad and the very lucky.
A Novel of Mexico, by RLB Hartmann. I've come to appreciate her work, and to expect superb craftsmanship.
I will buy the next book in the series in anticipation of a mystery solved regarding the gold, and in anticipation of seeing this family through to the end.