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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Review - The Marshall: A Novel of Bill Tilghman


Author : Matt Cole

Publisher : Whiskey Creek Press

Buy The Marshall: A Novel of Bill Tilghman Here!

Reviewed by: Brynna Curry

Rating: You Need to Read

This is a novel of the life of William “Bill” Matthew Tilghman, the most infamous lawman in the history of the West. He’s the one man many historians describe as the greatest sheriff of the Wild West.

The novel is told through the individual voices of some seventy plus people who knew him—kinfolk, lawmen, bartenders, prostitutes, friends and enemies.

The result is an astonishing series of vignettes, each revealing a period of Tilghman’s life, each rendered honestly and in a unique, evocative voice. Interspersed with legal documents, newspaper reports, and excerpts from Tilghman’s autobiography, this is more than fictional biography—it’s also a fascinating and accurate revelation of the time, place and people who settled and policed the frontier. It’s full of historical detail, and the vernacular and idiom make for a convincing and compelling narrative, offering a wonderfully rich portrait of this highly attractive but forceful lawman.

Historical fans will love this collections of accounts from those who knew Bill Tilghman perhaps better than anyone. Gripping narrative, lively characters mixed with the rich detail of life in the old west make this a must read. I started reading this book with almost no background on the lawman or a huge interest in the time period, but the author has a unique ability to reach out and drag the reader through the book. I felt like I was reading a living history lesson. Wonderful book and I'll be searching out more of Mr. Cole's work.

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