Between 1886 and 1888, Sergeant James Brooks, of Texas Ranger Company F, was engaged in three fatal gunfights, endured disfiguring bullet wounds, engaged in countless manhunts, was convicted of second-degree murder, and rattled Washington, D.C. with a request for a pardon from the US president. His story anchors the tale of Joe Pappalardo's Red Sky Morning, an epic saga of lawmen and criminals set in Texas during the waning years of the “Old West.”
Alongside Brooks are the Rangers of Company F, who range from a pious teetotaler to a cowboy fleeing retribution for killing a man. They are all led by Captain William Scott, who cut his teeth as a freelance undercover informant but was facing the end of his Ranger career. Company F hunted criminals across Texas and beyond, killing them as needed, and were confident they could bring anyone to “Ranger justice.” But Brooks’ men met their match in the Conner family, East Texas master hunters and jailbreakers who were wanted for their part in a bloody family feud.
The full story of Company F’s showdown with the Conner family is finally being told, with long dead voices being heard for the first time. This truly hidden history paints the grim picture of neighbors and relatives becoming snitches and bounty hunters, and a company of Texas Rangers who waded into the conflict only to find themselves over their heads—and in the fight of their lives.
"Red Sky Morning tells the tale of a bloody family rivalry worthy of a Jason Isbell song. The sharply drawn narrative brings to life a rich and interwoven cast of pioneers, outlaws, and gunslinging Rangers as they prepare for a showdown in the piney woods of East Texas. Pappalardo has delivered a hard-scrabble story that pairs well with a glass of nice whiskey."—Michael Mooney, New York Times bestselling author and Texas Monthly contributor
"Fast-paced and full of local politics and old-fashioned gunfights—a pleasure for fans of true crime and oaters alike."—Kirkus Reviews
Reviews from Goodreads
FOREVER IN THE SADDLE
May 19, 1886
The trio of Texas Rangers wake in their temporary campsite in the Washita Valley, inside the Indian Territories. They handle this Saturday morning’s1 work the way Rangers...