James Vaughan is a pseudonym for a writer in the UK. His novel, Sand River, is a terrific western of 395 pages. Telling the story is an old man relating some of the more interesting and life-changing events that he lived through.
Jack Grice heads west at a young age and wants to be a cowboy. In Texas, he finally finds a job working on a ranch at sixteen years old as a gofer doing anything that his boss thinks needs to be done. He helps the cook prepare meals for the Cowboys and has already learned the leather trade, saddlery, harness, etc., in a local shop. He picks up on horses and cattle, and using a .44 Colt revolver. After a fall roundup he is assigned to trail the cattle in a cattle drive to Kansas. Later on, one of his friends sets him up as a horse thief and he must go to prison. The descriptions of his time in prison are really good and action filled; how he gets out is exciting, too. Grice returns to being a cowboy in Wyoming, getting a job on the ranch of Mr. Marques and his wife Kate of the gentry class.
But trouble comes his way again by getting mixed up in the cattle rustling mess at that time in history. Well trained and fast using a gun, he is forced to kill too many people and that get him arrested and he must face trial. Grice has a difficult time and finally faces his adversary in a do or die situation.
I really enjoyed this book and give it five stars. It is well written, plotted and structurally complete. I look forward to reading more from this author. Keeping my interest for almost 400 pages, it was extremely satisfying.