Just right off the bat: What an amazing plot! Author Bruce McCandless III has created a masterpiece with In the Land of Dead Horses. A supernatural horror, gory, western, whodunit novel wrapped in history and mystery.
Mayan descendants, in Pre-WWI Texas, resurrect one of their ancient gods to take vengeance and restore their lands and people. Their plot is stumbled upon by a Texas Ranger named Jewel T. Lightfoot and a supernatural battle between good vs. evil begins. It is a heart-racing-read that will keep you racing through the pages and guessing what will happen next…but you will guess wrong.
This novel really could stand on its own as a Texas cowboy action-mystery, but when you add in all the other chilling elements, the novel becomes so much more. Not only does the plot have depth and intensity, but how it is presented by McCandless is phenomenal.
Texas Ranger Jewel T. Lightfoot, aging silver miner Ernesto Zavala and his grandson Antonio are all very different characters and do not naturally blend in together. None of them are particularly likable as people but as characters they are intriguing, unique and fantastically real-feeling. They are all flawed, scared, dislike each other and have to put away their personal differences to become unlikely heroes.
McCandless’ characters are very believable as people and progressing with them through their horrifying nightmares is an absolute adventure.
Bruce McCandless is an author who knows exactly how to control his narrative with his words. This plot is deep, entwined, and could easily be lost in confusion. However, everything stays completely within control and the story is absolutely controlled in every twist and horror. This ability McCandless shows to tell such intricate and unique stories with that much control and awareness is really what separates certain writers apart from others.
I love the story, I love how it is written and I will absolutely read more of McCandless’ work. I do have to admit, however, that the ending of this novel was a little unsatisfying. Don’t get me wrong, it is still very good and I understand that it is a prequel. Any lose ends that are in this ending could very easily be threaded in to the sequel, but as a stand-alone, I wanted more closure with this great novel.
This is a classic western novel that morphs into a so much more. The story-telling is unique and strong, the characters are even stronger. I highly recommend it and I will surely be reading the sequel, Sour Lake. Thank you for sending the novel my way and I encourage all of you to go here and get your copy of this must read horror novel that will take you on an adventure you never expected and will never forget.