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Saturday, January 01, 2011

My review of Kate by S. M. Ballard.


About the book:

Sexy, savvy, smart, in love with one man yet drawn to another, Hungarian born blue blood Mary Katherine Haroney, aka Kate Elder, lives life on the edge. And the edge in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, circa 1880, is a dangerous place indeed. Kate's love, dentist/gambler, John Henry "Doc" Holliday, is a hairsbreadth from death. With his days numbered due to the consumption killing him, Doc seeks to make sense of a life too quickly ebbing away, his drinking and volatile behavior driving Kate into another man's arms. The other man is Holliday's despised nemesis, gunman and Cowboy, Johnny Ringo. Yet who really stands in the way of Kate's life with Doc Holliday? Is it her paramour, Ringo, or is it perhaps Doc's closest friend, her fiercest rival for Holliday's devotion, Wyatt Earp?

My review:

I bought this e-book after meeting the author at a historical event a month ago in Pearce, Arizona, and thought I'd try it. I ended up really enjoying the book. Of course, it helped that the story had some of my favorite places in it. I'm a Tombstone fan and love the Old West. My son graduated from Tombstone High School and I've been to the town a ton of times just to enjoy events and various sites. This story takes a closer look at Doc Holliday's life and the trials that came with his illness as well as betrayal by Johnny Ringo and by Kate. This novel goes into more of the whys and possible conclusions surrounding various unknowns than I'd read about before.

Kate also delves into Doc's relationship with the Earp brothers, Wyatt in particular, and some of the significant issues during that period in Tombstone's history. The setting was so well done I felt like I was hanging out in the 1880s while reading. Since I know where the places in the book are located (The Oriental Saloon, Allen Street, Fremont Street, the San Pedro River, Tombstone, Contention, etc.) it was an even more enjoyable read for me. The author did a great job making Kate seem real and very empathetic despite how things began. It wasn't until the end that I realized that "Kate" in the story was actually Big Nose Kate. Not sure why I didn't realize that sooner. At any rate, it was a good read and provided a great escape.

Kate was published by Goose Flats Publishing, Blue Moon Division in Jan 2010

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