From "America's best novelist" (The Denver Post): A sprawling thriller drenched with atmosphere and intrigue that takes a young boy from a chance encounter with Bonnie and Clyde to the trenches of World War II and the oil fields along the Texas-Louisiana coast. It is 1934 and the Depression is bearing down when sixteen-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends as Weldon puts a bullet through the rear window of Clyde's stolen automobile. Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland and his sergeant, Hershel Pine, escape certain death in the Battle of the Bulge and encounter a beautiful young woman named Rosita Lowenstein hiding in a deserted extermination camp. Eventually, Weldon and Rosita fall in love and marry and, with Hershel, return to Texas to seek their fortunes. There, they enter the domain of jackals known as the oil business. They meet Roy Wiseheart-a former Marine aviator haunted with guilt for deserting his squadron leader over the South Pacific-and Roy's wife Clara, a vicious anti-Semite who is determined to make Weldon and Rosita's life a nightmare. It will be the frontier justice upheld by Weldon's grandfather, Texas lawman Hackberry Holland, and the legendary antics of Bonnie and Clyde that shape Weldon's plans for saving his family from the evil forces that lurk in peacetime America and threaten to destroy them all.
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by James Lee Burke
"Will PattonÕs narration of Burke's novel is notable for its energy. Mostly set in mid-twentieth-century Texas, the story starts with 16-year-old Weldon Holland's chance meeting with Bonnie and Clyde in 1934. It then moves to his heroism in the Battle of the Bulge, during which he saves his sergeant and his future love, Rosita, a Spanish prisoner of war. After the war he returns to Texas, where he gets into the oil business. Holland is a complex character listeners wonÕt want to miss, and Patton's Texas accents are superb. The story becomes a bit unbelievable toward the end as Holland goes on the run, but all the major characters in the storyÑincluding Rosita and Holland's former commanderÑhave demons that Patton ably brings out. This book and Patton's reading are outstanding. A.L.H. 2015 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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