Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent....And A Shout Out To Followers

Before I begin my review, I have to say "Welcome!" to all my new followers.  Golly, I am so pleased you decided to read my reviews.  I read a mix of things:  historical fiction, science fiction/fantasy, contemporary fiction, and some non-fiction, too.  And yes, I do read Teen novels.  Whatever catches my fancy.  So welcome, and thank you for reading my reviews.  I hope you find something wonderful to read :)

Kathleen Kent.  A wonderful writer.  I read The Heretic's Daughter a few years ago and just loved it--what an emotionally wrenching novel!  I was pleased to see this new novel sitting on our new release table at work, and it fit neatly into my class assignment for reading a western.  Yes, a western.  Kathleen Kent jumps from witch hunts in New England in The Heretic's Daughter to the Texas Frontier in 1870 in her new novel.  

Center stage are two characters:  Nate Cannon, a Texas lawman, and Lucinda Carter, a prostitute who suffers from debilitating epileptic seizures.  Lucinda is a complex character; a woman who was put into an asylum as a child, and has a knack for geometry and complicated mathematics.  She's also been forced into working at a brothel and meets a man who promises her a way out.  But first she must follow his plan.  

Nate Cannon is a young lawman who is assigned to send news of an escaped criminal and notorious murderer--McGill--to two lawmen who have been chasing him for years.  Dr. Tom and  and Deerling are two seasoned lawmen who, for personal reasons, are determined to find and capture McGill.  You soon quickly learn that McGill is an unrepentant, cold-blooded, horrible man who will kill anyone for money--or just because he can.  Nate finds himself bonding with the two men and helps them on their journey through Texas and into Louisiana on a breathless chase to find McGill before he kills again.  Once again I am amazed at how long people could ride a horse and how far they could travel.  Exhausting and hard work.

So what's the connection between Lucinda and Nate?  Lucinda's mysterious man is McGill himself.  Does she realize he is a murderer and go along with him anyway?  I'll leave that for you to decide.  Lucinda is a study in a woman who does what she needs to in order to survive, yet at the same time is yearning for a quiet life and some peace.  She is complex, sorrowful, yet devious at the same time.  Will she end up as McGill's next victim?

This was a really good novel; Lucinda's character has equal time with Nate's character as both move closer to the inevitable meeting in New Orleans.  Nate is an example of always being tested; he struggles to keep his sense of fairness and honesty as he delves deeper into the ugly side of life.

Kathleen Kent's The Outcasts is a blend of western action, female struggle, and making choices for good or bad.  Lots of action; great characters both major and minor.  You will turn the last page and take a deep breath.  

Rating:  8/10 for an action novel that features a complex female lead; an ending that neatly ties up loose ends yet leaves you wanting more.  

Available in hardcover, e-book, and audio.


  1. I love Kathleen Kent's work and am eager to set some time in the future to read this one. I might miss the change from New England to Texas, but I trust she's delivered a wonderful story once again.

    1. She keeps her balance of things happening that make sense to the story, even if it's not something you want to happen!

  2. sounds really fun :) I read the Heretic's daughter a while ago and really enjoyed it so I'll need to get my hands on a copy of this one!! Great Review!!!

    1. Thanks so much for your comments. Heretic's daughter broke my heart; this one will definitely keep you thinking about doing what's right and doing what's necessary.

  3. sounds like a good read. :) And I really like your rating system :)