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Kim Vogee
Three Corner Rustlers
K. Hamilton, author
Inspired by real life incidents, author K. Hamilton combines the elements of a western with the 20th century. Paths intersect and twist from Silicon Valley, to Colorado, to the wide open spaces of the high desert of the three corner country of Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada. It’s a contemporary story with an estranged daughter, Carson, returning to her childhood home, C.J., an ex-con whose life is changed by a mentor, a wild Mustang named Rio, a criminal network of cattle thieves, Federal agents, high tech, and a rancher whose livelihood is threatened. Their journeys are woven through this modern day tale to surprising conclusions.
Hamilton ably manages several plot threads in this tale of 21st-century cattle rustling. In the prologue, an unnamed “range detective,” hot on the trail of cattle thieves, is stunned by what he discovers at the edge of a cliff (“There was no sound. Nothing except the wind. They had vanished like smoke”). Meanwhile, convict C.J. Burk, an Australian, is fortunate to be selected for a program that allows prisoners to work on a Colorado ranch with wild mustangs. His efforts to get his life back on track after his parole parallel those of Carson Anne Collins, whose mother runs Three Bit Ranch in Oregon, where C.J. ends up after gaining his freedom. Carson has bailed on her life in Silicon Valley in search of a new beginning, away from unpaid bills and an affair with a married man. Hamilton makes good use of her experience as a rancher to pepper the story with details that allow readers to enter an unfamiliar world, such as livestock owners fitting their animals with GPS devices. (BookLife)