Monday, December 10, 2007

Cities of the Plain - post I

The final part of the Border Crossing trilogy reunites the characters from the first two books. John Grady and Billy Parham are both working together on a ranch. The ranch is on land wanted by the military and there is a suggestion that the world of the cowboys is under threat of compulsory purchase order.

As was the theme with the first two books horses are the key feature with Grady training them and Parham working with them along with several other ranch hands. But the border with Mexico is also never far away either physically or mentally. Grady is the first to get involved emotionally with events south of the river after he falls in love with a prostitute. The 16 year old is working in a high-class brothel and Grady's plans to buy her freedom look like being doomed. But he seems determined to take her away regardless.

Billy seems to be wandering round without much cause still not sure what his purpose is on the planet. He has a loyalty to those he works with but is prepared to call a spade a spade when necessary.

Grady's love affair with the girl is where the feeling of doom comes from along with a sense that a time is ending and the cowboys will have to move on. The time of the horse is coming to an end. Quite what trouble Grady will bring on himself and those he lives and works with can only be guessed at. But given the violence in the first couple of books it should involve Mexicans, guns and a loss of blood.

More tomorrow...

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