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Blood and Ashes - (Five Star Western Series) by Matthew P. Mayo (Hardcover)
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Life at the Barr-McGee ranch has settled into a pleasant lull of work and rest for members of The Outfit. Life should be good . . . but big Rafe Barr stews about his wife and son’s murderer, and leaves to search for resolution, revenge, reckoning. Meanwhile, Black Jack Smith attends a high-stakes poker tournament in Santa Fe, where he encounters southern gambler Colonel Rufus Turlington the Second, and his powerful covert Brotherhood of the Phoenix. The group plans to make good on its rallying cry: “The South shall rise from the ashes, reborn!” in a brutal public lynching—with visiting President Ulysses S. Grant as its swinging centerpiece. Returning to the ranch after dealing with the vicious killer, Knifer, and his midget partner, Plug, in Denver, Rafe and Cookie discover a cryptic telegram from Jack, something about a phoenix, a word that conjures specters from their secret-agent war days. The men ride for Santa Fe with Doc in tow, driving his latest invention, Ethel the War Wagon. Stakes are high and the men bet all in hopes they aren’t too late to save the President of the United States, and prevent the rebirth of a scourge long thought dead. It’s up to Rafe, Cookie, and the rest of THE OUTFIT to extinguish the rising flames of villainy and hatred.