To Hell or the Pecos, a novel
Published by: TCU Press
192 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: September 2012
Tom Rowden has been riding away from the Pecos River for twenty years, plagued by the haunting image of his wife, Sarah, the second before he killed her. Now, he is dead-set on returning to her unmarked grave above the river to make one final atonement. His journey is interrupted when a group of Mexican bandits burn down the 7L’s ranch house, kill the ranch boss, and rape and abduct his daughter, Liz Anne. The 7L’s greenhorn wagon boss, Jess Graham, desperately begs for Tom’s help in rescuing Liz Anne, the girl Jess loves. Tom obliges and sets out with Jess and his posse of ranch hands through a hellish desert landscape toward the Pecos River. For Jess, it is his first journey through the desert; Tom hopes it is his last.
The journey slowly wears down the group of cowboys, who must face deadly foes, choking dust clouds, and rabid wolf attacks. To stay alive, they also must fight against personal desires and a growing sense of hopelessness, but the most deadly enemy remains the scorching desert, threatening to erase life at any second.
Liz Anne, meanwhile, must also fight on through the desert, holding on to what dignity she has left, trying to slow down her captors long enough for her rescue party to catch up. Her captors reach the pools hidden in a canyon just a few miles away from the Pecos River and set an ambush for the rescuers. Will the posse be killed by the ambush? Will Jess ever get back his precious Liz Anne? Will Tom be able to make it the last few miles to the Pecos River and find absolution? Discover all the answers in Patrick Dearen’s exciting new tale, To Hell or the Pecos.