Preacher of the Pecos by C.E. Edmonson

C.E. Edmonson
Aventine Press (2019)
ISBN 9781593309558
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (02/2020)

“Preacher of the Pecos” by C.E. Edmonson takes place in 1873, on the flatlands of west Texas, in a small-town name Whitegrass.

Whitegrass is located off the Pecos River at a prime spot for a greedy rancher. Reverend Josh Hill and his wife Sarah play a large role taking care of the town. Not only do they meet the spiritual needs of the town folk, but they also own the Whitegrass Mercantile which is a general store. When the greedy rancher orders the murder of a man for his land, the town becomes divided when a Mexican field hand is falsely accused of the death. The murdered man left behind a wife and a child. The wife believes in the innocence of the accused. Most of the town folk want to lynch him. Rev. Josh suspects who the real killer is and knows who ordered him to do it. He desperately wants the town to be at peace because if a war starts, the government will get involved and ultimately, this will work in the favor of the man who ordered the killing.

Rev. Josh was once a man of war and led a hard life until he found the arms of his wife, and the bible in her hands. The killing of his friend and the battle that is growing between whites and Mexicans forces him to take a hard look at himself. When his wife if shot, but survives, he still suffers a huge loss. The desire to seek revenge by killing the murder is strong in his heart. He has offered a plan of peace, but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen. When the town is hit with a huge storm, it appears that something greater is in charge and salvation can be obtained for those desiring it.

“Preacher of the Pecos,” is more than just a western tale. While the author has done an amazing job of describing the colorful characters that comprise the town, he has also given them a level of complexity that greatly enriches the story. Much of the people who make up the town come from other places, especially from the south where they lost everything in the war. Fighting in wars have also hardened them. Most of them are not willing to lose anything again and will fight for what little they have. Prejudice exists between the whites and the Mexicans who live nearby. Some of the wealthy are about to use greed to manipulate others. The protagonist, who thought he had been done healing from his past, also goes through some major character development as he battles the demons, inside his heart, that he thought were long gone.

“Preacher of the Pecos” by C.E. Edmonson is an amazing story. Fans of western stories will enjoy it. Adult subjects are addressed but diluted so that this tale can be enjoyed by young adults as well as the older ones. Highly recommended reading for fans of the old west.

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