Leisure, Oct 2002
In 1880 in Cactus Springs, Texas Duel McClain believes he has nothing to live ever since his loved ones died. However, he still almost has cardiac arrest when he draws the Deadman's Hand in a poker game and nearly suffers a stroke when a nasty player raises the ante by tossing a female infant Marley Rose into the pot. Duel wins and decides to take Marley to his sister in hope she and her husband will adopt the child.
A badly battered bloodied Jessie Foltry wanders into Duel's camp. The blood is not hers, but the bruises testify that someone beat her up and branded her shoulder with a diamond J. Jessie and Duel reach an agreement to keep Marley safe. On the trail they begin to fall in love, but when they reach his home, his brother a Texas Ranger arrests Jessie for killing her husband. Duel stands with the woman who has brought him back among the living as she stands trial.
KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAIN is a graphically vivid western romance that focuses on spousal abuse and to a lesser degree child abandonment. The story line is at its strongest when a bewildered Duel “consults” his horse on what to do with his new dependents as this tells so much about the hero. Jessie is a wonderful protagonist but her inner strength that enables her to easily overcome her traumas contradicts her remaining in an abusive relationship for years. Linda Broday shows her talent with her ability to paint a three dimensional picture of life in post Reconstruction Era Texas.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner