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January 2010 Indie Next List
“If you want to take a fantastic trip back to the chaotic Wild West, Mark Gardner's historical narrative delivers in spades. This rollicking book presents the tribulations of Sheriff Pat Garrett and his quest to capture the notorious Billy the Kid, and Gardner's superb writing and references makes this tale truly come alive.”
— Jerry Fieldsted, Windows on the World-Books & Art, Mariposa, CA
Billy the Kid a.k.a. Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, and William Bonney was a horse thief, cattle rustler, charismatic rogue, and cold-blooded killer. A superb shot, the Kid gunned down four men single-handedly and five others with the help of cronies. Two of his victims were Lincoln County, New Mexico, deputies, killed during the Kid's brazen daylight escape from the courthouse jail on April 28, 1881. After dispensing with his guards and breaking the chain securing his leg irons, the Kid danced a macabre jig on the jail's porch before riding away on a stolen horse as terrified townspeople and many sympathizers watched. For new sheriff Pat Garrett, the chase was on.
"To Hell on a Fast Horse" re-creates the thrilling manhunt for the Wild West's most iconic outlaw. It is also the first dual biography of the Kid and Garrett, two larger-than-life figures who would not have become the stuff of legend without the other. Drawing on voluminous primary sources and a wealth of published scholarship, Mark Lee Gardner digs beneath the myth to take a fresh look at these two men, their relationship, and what they would come to mean to a public enamored of the violent past of the Wild West.
"Sklar adopts an accent of yesteryear.... His deep, gravelly voice adds authentic charm to the story. New Mexican Spanish mixed with frontier English gives a historic regionality to this true-crime story." ---AudioFile