The Lost Are the Last To Die

Five Star: Cengage. (Sonny Burton, Bk. 2). Nov. 2019. 332p. ISBN 9781432857233. $25.95. M
After Sonny Burton (first introduced in A Thousand Falling Crows) lost his right arm in a shoot-out with Bonnie and Clyde, he knew his career as a Texas Ranger was over. Then in 1934, Billy Burson escapes from Huntsville Prison with the warden’s pregnant wife as a hostage. No one knows Billy’s habits better than Sonny, so the Rangers ask him to help in the capture. Sonny and Billy spent years running into each other, from the time Billy was five years old. Now, with Sonny’s son, Jesse, another Ranger, as backup, they follow Billy’s killing spree across the area. It’s a cat-and-mouse game with both Sonny and Billy knowing one of them will end up dead after all the years that Sonny tried to save the boy who had nothing.
VERDICT Sweazy’s latest is a fast-paced story that intensifies as it careens toward tragedy. Fans of frontier mysteries will appreciate the juxtaposition of Billy’s early years with the violence of his final spree, in this atmospheric tale of a man who left a son at home pining for him, while he tried to save the prodigal.

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