Although this is the first book in this series that I've read, it is actually a prequel to two previous novels, The Good Old Boys and The Smiling Country. But I guess a prequel to a series is a damn good place to come in. The characters are new to you and everything is fresh.
Hewey Calloway ventures to West Texas with his brother Walter to find work. They soon land a job as cow hands, earning the titular six bits a day. But when Walter starts to fall for a local girl, Hewey fears the breaking of their brotherly bond and decides he must scupper things for his romantic sibling.
It's a light hearted western - of the kind that would make perfect family viewing as a TNT tele-movie. And there's nothing wrong in that. Hewey is such a compelling character that I found myself sucked into the story and thrilling as the young man brings trouble from killers, rustlers and fueding cattle men down onto their shoulders. This is a great western novel with an authentic feel thanks to some well researched period details and characters that jump fully fleshed from the page.
I've ordered The Good Old Boys from Amazon and can't wait to once again sink into this western world created by such a master craftsman.