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Hardcover Vendetta [Large Print] Book

ISBN: 078623993X

ISBN13: 9780786239931

Vendetta [Large Print]

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Father Pete Madsen is a man torn by conscience. Ever since the Civil War, he has devoted his life to the church in an attempt to make penance for his bloody deeds of heroism-with his faith as his only weapon against the evils of the world. That faith is tested when his best friend leaves town to confront the man who unjustly put him in jail-and returns in a pine box. Harder to take is the knowledge that the person responsible is Tom Rattigan-a depraved...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Complex and interconnected relationships

Father Pete Madsen's best friend Noah Greaves was released from prison and was subsequently killed trying to exact revenge on the one reason he was there: Tom Radigan. Noah's daughter Joan decides to finish what her father set out to do, but that's not the only revenge being enacted in Vendetta. Simple stories are not author Ed Gorman's stock in trade. Vendetta beautifully showcases Gorman's skill at characterization through various lengthy passages from different points of view. In this way, we more closely follow the actions of Joan Greaves; her quarry, Radigan; his lover, Caroline Petty; her husband, chief of police Walter Petty; his assistant chief, Red Carney; and bank-robbing brothers, Carl and Leonard Schmidt. Gorman puts the reader inside his characters' heads and gives us access to their most private thoughts. All the while offering suspenseful narrative that leaves questions unanswered until the reader is simply aching to find out how these complex and interconnected relationships will out. His ability to make the villain of one story into the tragic hero of another only enhances the reader's involvement in the tale. The centerpiece of Vendetta, a 4-hour bank robbery, brings all the characters together in one place and brings their tensions to a head. The ending floored me. Best of all, Vendetta is a story that could be set in any time or place. The events are universal and timeless. That Gorman has set it in the Old West merely allows the author to utilize aspects specific to the era while showing that people really haven't changed all that much. It will appeal to fans of Westerns and crime fiction (given that Gorman calls his style "Western noir") or any enthusiasts of solid storytelling. (Fans of modern westerns will appreciate the cameo from a gunsmith named "J.R. Randisi.") Reader of the unabridged audiobook, Scott Brick's dysthymic delivery is perfect for Gorman's tight prose. Brick is one of my favorite all-around audiobook readers due to his ability to avoid inserting himself into the story; he's a fresh canvas primed for any material, and offers a letter-perfect interpretation of Vendetta.

Literary western with a thought-provoking anti-climax

I simply enjoyed reading Westerns as a kid. Now I'm told and read that Westerns as a genre are defunct. (Our library devotes perhaps two feet of shelf space to Western PBOs.) Then I read a title like Ed Gorman's VENDETTA, and I'm left scratching my head in puzzlement. It shows with vivid certainty that a modern Western makes for a fine, fun read. This standalone features Father Pete Madsen who dons the cloth in penance for killing civilians during the Civil War. He's called upon to intercede in a bank robbery-hostage standoff. It ends bloodily through the treachery of the vain local sheriff. Aside from the tense standoff (shades of HIGH NOON at work here), VENDETTA has a thought-provoking anti-climax. Guilt and remorse rack the deputy sheriff who has always done the sheriff's dirty work. Several other townspeople ponder the morality of murder. The points of view shift to present their conflicts. This brisk, multi-layered Western provided an enjoyable evening of reading. Like it did when I was a kid.

A brilliant three-act tragedy

I don't enjoy reading westerns. I generally rate them up there with regency romances. But Ed Gorman is an author that could write the back of a cereal box and I'd read it. Whether SF, Horror, Suspense, Erotica or Westerns he knows how to write! This is his latest and one of his best to date. Even if you've never read a western, read this one.
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