The final novel in Larry McMurtrys Lonesome Dove quartet, Streets of Laredo is an exhilarating and achingly poignant tale of heroism and friendshipCaptain Woodrow Call, Gus McCraes old partner, once a youthful Texas Ranger, is now a bounty hunter hired to track down a brutal young Mexican bandit Riding with Call are an Eastern city slicker, a witless deputy, and one of the last members of the Hat Creek outfit, Pea Eye Parker, now married to Lorena once Guss sweetheart Their long, perilous chase leads them across the last wild stretches of the West into a hellhole known as Crow Town and, finally, deep into the vast, relentless plains of the Texas frontier What drove Woodrow Call to take that cattle drive A twist of personality A need that not only defined his own life, but also changed the destiny of every cowboy Call bent to his will And not necessarily in a good way Gus had his own reasons The rest followed the Captain In Laredo they still do, with tragic results McMurtry keeps to his theme of strong women, but also shows how ordinary men find a strength in adversity they, and others, didn t know that had It s essential reading for lovers of Lonesome Dove I have read all 4 books in the Lonesome Dove series but I came upon them in the wrong order Lonesome Dove was the first book I read but the prequel to Lonesome Dove was Comanche Moon which I read later After those two I read the earliest book Dead Man s Walk next and I have to say I had a few suspicious thoughts about this book and its provenance All that aside, I found the last of the series Streets of Laredo thoroughly enjoyable and pure Larry McMurtry I have to say that I haven t enjoyed a series of books in my life than these, notwithstanding my thoughts on Dead Man s Walk The whole cast of characters from the devil himself Blue Duck, the war Chief Buffalo Hump, the stealthy horse thief Kicking Wolf right down to Rosco Brown floundering around in Texas looking for his boss Sheriff July Johnson The Rangers Captains Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae Pea Eye, Jake Spoon, Deets The Kickapoo tracker Famous Shoes the whole awesome gang of them gave me a reading delight I ll never forget should I live to be 100. Having read Lonesome Dove i had high hopes for this one After all it had the surviving characters that helped to Lonesome Dove a classic and I had expected the same here I m sure that McMurtys picture of the old West is accurate than most other writers of western s but nevertheless this disappointed me I found it very wordy and excruciatingly slow It s really only in the last quarter of the book that we get the action that I d been waiting for Would have been a better book of a significant but if dialogue and narrative had been cut Sorry. Wonderful series Larry McMurtry appears to have done some thorough research on the indigenous people living in the areas this book covers, the Mexican communities and the lives of the early Caucasian settlers of Texas The stories are around a group of initially disorganized and hapless Texas Rangers and the people whose land they are intent on clearing of its original inhabitants An interesting view of what life was like in pioneer days Including lives of the women Sometimes humorous, sometimes tender often violent Always a page turner. There is a six year gap between Larry McMurtry writing his LonesomeDove and its sequel The Streets of Loredo After reading the former, I couldn t wait to read the latter, as Lonesome Dove contained all the ingredients of the very best of best sellers, and thoroughly merited its Pulitzer Prize Having also bought the DVD of the television series it was with an enormous amount of anticipation that I bought this second book I had imagined the scenario would contain the elements which had made Lonesome Dove so readable, meaning that the reader would be travelling with a band of cowboys out on the open range, but nevertheless in which the characters had moved on, but not that far on In The Streets of Loredo they have moved on too far twenty years in fact, enough time for Lorena, one of the characters in the first book, to have had five children, and for Woodrow Call, the hero in Lonesome Dove, to have turned into an old man, but still with a lust for adventure, and above all accepting to relive his life again as a Texas Ranger In Lonesome Dove the plot was linear, which led the reader from adventure to adventure The cowboys started off from Texas, finally ending up in Montana, and along the way the author had time to sketch out his characters vividly, to such an extent that I felt even a sense of loss when I closed the last pages of the book.However, in this second book, all of the former have disappeared the cowboys have been replaced by the now aged Wodrow Call accompanied by a couple of men, but we are hardly into the book when we learn that two of the most attractive characters from Lonesome Dove have died, characters around whom LH could surely have developed new story lines There is an accountant accompanying Call A Salaried Man the name of the first chapter He is being paid by a railway entrepreneur whose trains are being constantly attacked by a young bandit named Joey Garza who steals from and then kills, the passengers And if that isn t enough, he also has other plans which are to kill his mother in addition to his blind sister and autistic brother, for reasons which aren t made very clear The railway owner has sent his accountant along to make sure his money is being used carefully, the balance of which will be for Call, after he has killed Joey the bandit Call is thus accompanied by the yankee accountant, along with Pea Eye whom we have already met in Lonesome Dove along with Famous Shoes, an old Indian, whom they rely on to try and find the tracks of Joey However JH seems to have thought that one bandit wasn t enough, so introduces another one in his second chapter entitled Mox Mox His speciality is not only burning people hence his name, the Manburner not entirely original it must be said who takes pleasure in burning them to death while they are still alive The darkness in the book proceeds to gets darker and darker In Lonesome Dove we had the rape of Lorena by grown men that was bad enough, but LH goes much further in this book by having a 72 year old rape a 10 year child, this girl who will eventually become one of the major characters in the book From the rape of a pregnant woman, an old woman being crushed to death by the Mox Mox gang in her tent full of scorpions incidentally , to Lorena having to amputate a leg with excruciating detail one really wonders why such a great story teller as LH seems to have gone out of his way to make not a western, but a sequence of horror stories, with a trail of bloodied bodies seemingly littered across the whole of Texas There are also too many implausible moments in the book for example, sometimes Call s men get separated when they set off alone, or wives go searching for their husbands, and then get lost, only to miraculously come across each other in a creek, a forest or by a river bank, in seemingly an endless winter And why, in view of the dreadful activities of these two sadistic killers, weren t the army sent after them, or a poss of a hundred men, instead of just old Call and his companions Overall, from a cracking great novel Lonesome Dove this was a very disappointing sequel indeed and if I am giving it three stars, it is purely on the basis of the fact that despite all of the above, it is nevertheless one which is very skillfully written by an exceptionally imaginative author.. Unfortunately it is not anywhere near as good as the previous books, it must be difficult as one of the main characters has died but there is far to much information on sub characters and not enough story line. Lacks the power and the perceptiveness of Lonesome Dove itself If anything the characters become two rather than three dimensional as a result of this sequel and the two prequels. This final volume in the series takes place many years after the events of Lonesome Dove Of the cast of characters who survived that book, some are dead, but many reappear here The world has also changed, and Call is an old man, doing the occasional bounty hunting job He is hired to track down Joey Garza, a young man who has taken to holding up trains, and killing passengers indiscriminately Call asks Pea eye Parker, one of the last remaining members of the old group, to join him in the hunt, but at first he refuses He is now a farmer, married to Lorena, another familiar character, and they have five children.Joey Garza s story is also told alongside Call s, and we soon learn that their pasts are not unconnected I won t give away any of the plot and risk spoiling your enjoyment For me, this book is similar in many ways to the prequels Firstly, there is explicit violence and cruelty than in Lonesome Dove This is not really a complaint, but does alter the tone of the books slightly It was, after all, a violent world to use a platitude, life was cheap for the men and women who took their chances in what remained of the Wild West.Having said that, the book still kept me turning the pages The relationship between Call and Brookshire is an endearing one They represent the two Americas which now existed the one looking back to a wild, individual, pioneering world, the other representative of the growing corporate, urban America.Indeed much of the book is really about Call s relationship with others, and particularly his lack of understanding that their worldview is increasingly different to his Call is painfully aware he knows nothing but his old life It is a study of ageing of coming to terms with a rapidly changing world, where Call is a relic In amongst the storyline, there is a lot about the meaning of relationships, about the ties of loyalty and family.My only real criticism is in the character of Joey Garza I never really understood his actions and feelings Most of the other major characters have been fully drawn, giving you a clear view of them, their backgrounds and their motivation With Joey, although his background is covered, I never got through to the man, to know why he was as he was.Apart from that, this is a moving, melancholy end to an absorbing series Of the four, Lonesome Dove is definitely the defining volume, with the others being valuable additions to make the story complete As mentioned at the beginning, these are the only western novels I ve ever read, so I cannot compare them to the rest of the genre However, I am a regular reader of historical fiction, and I believe this work along with the rest of the series stands strongly within that arena The full version of this review is available on my blog there is a link on my profile page I really enjoyed the final instalment, though I was really sorry that this was the end of the series Larry has created such a wonderful array of characters and you really get to know them throughout the series, I ll definitely read these again.