The 20th Anniversary Edition of the classic novel by Max McCoy, newly packaged with an introduction by noted western writer Johnny D. Boggs.
The hardcover edition was winner of the Spur Award for Best First Novel from the Western Writers of America and launched the career of Max McCoy, a novelist better known for his four Indiana Jones adventures for Bantam.
McCoy's brand of historical fiction has been called "western noir."
He also wrote the novelization of the Steven Spielberg epic miniseries "Into the West" and won another Spur and the Kansas Notable Book Award for the wickedly unconventional "Hellfire Canyon."
It's late in the last century and the Wild West is becoming tamed by telegraph wire, railroads, and the modern methods of federal lawmen. But the Dalton boys, kin to the infamous Younger and James clans, haven't heard the news. Brought up on romantic tales and songs about outlaws, they aim for glory and gold, following in the bloody footsteps of the legendary gangs of the West.
Samuel Cole Dalton is the youngest of fifteen children sired by a drunk and raised by a Bible-reading Kansas woman whose love can't keep her brood on the straight and narrow. At thirteen, Sam still has a chance at an honest life, but his fate is decided when he witnesses the cold-blooded shooting of his brother, Frank, by the moonshiner William Towerly.
Sam takes off after Towerly, bent on revenge. His only resources are his youth, his fury, and the remarkable shooting skills that are the Dalton inheritance. Tracking Towerly to a mountainside hideout, Sam blows away two bandits, but his real quarry escapes. An Indian girl is chained in the cabin, kidnapped by Towerly, and Sam returns her to her home in the Choctaw Nation.
Sidetracked by his love affair with the girl, it is over a year before Sam, now known as the "Choctaw Kid," meets up with his brothers, Bob, Grat and Emmett. The Dalton Gang goes into business: rustling, robbing, and running from the law. But even as they achieve the renown and riches they craved, Sam can't find the fabled glamour of the outlaw life anywhere. Their last heist is a battle famous in Western history, as legendary as the story of the sixth rider--the Choctaw Kid--who manages to escape the violent fate of the notorious Dalton Gang.