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Posted December 9, 2008
In Toussaint, Montana, the townsfolk host a going away party for a family who owned a ranch for over a century, but forced to sell to the well funded The Host of Yahwah. A white priest leads the cult and decrees his followers will be picked up by alien spaceships just before the world is destroyed................................... Gabriel DuPre learns through his FBI contacts that seven men who left the cult were all killed on the same day at the same time in various places around the country by female members. Gabriel tries to help a woman trying to escape but when she sees that members of the cult are about to capture her, she kills herself in front of her children. When Gabriel sneaks into the compound and sets fire to an ammunitions dump, the resulting explosions are enough to get the FBI involved. The FBI surrounds the compound but nobody wants another Waco so the Federal agents are prepared to wait them out until Gabriel comes up with an idea to break the back of the resistance................... The tenth installment in this series is refreshingly original due in large part to the protagonist who though a grandfather fourteen times over, lives life to the fullest. He is not afraid to take chances and puts his life on the line to try and get some information on the cult that can be used by the FBI. In BADLANDS the federal agents are the good guys who act with restraint while the cult members pursue their sinister agenda. Peter Bowen does for Montana what Tory Hillerman does for New Mexico................ Harriet Klausner
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Posted July 16, 2013
I enjoyed the humor as mush as the plot. It was a fun read and I laughed out loud several times. It was thoughtful in content and had some great dialogue as well. I will read other Gabriel DuPre novels in the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2003
The ongoing saga of Gabriel DuPre and his extended family/network of friends is superbly continued in this 10th installment from Peter Bowen. Each book has dealt with a different issue of current western life. Badlands centers around extremist fringe groups in the west, in this instance a religious group called Children of Yahweh (with a strong nod to Waco). All the familiar faces are present in this book - FBI agents Harvey Weasel Fat, Pidgeon, and Ripper - shaman Bennetsee and his apprentice Pelon - and of course DuPre and Madeleine and DuPre's precocious granddaughter Pallas who is intent on marrying Ripper when she gets to be 16 in 4 or 5 years. Bowen is able to weave his characters into his plot with grace, hilarity and verve. However, if you are a new reader, it would be better to start with an earlier book. The patterns of action between the characters have been set in the earlier books and are often just tangentially referred to in this book, making it difficult for the new reader to fully grasp why events occur the way they do. For example, DuPre and Bennetsee have a most unusual relationship and their interaction, crucial to the plot, is only hazily revealed. I am still not sure if Bennetsee ever really physically appears in Badlands. Another problem with this book for the first-time Bowen reader is that the mystery is not a mystery and there is no real resolution. The reader is presented with a cult taking over a large tract of land edging on the badlands of Montana. This cult is eventually found to have possibly stolen a large quantity of weapons from a military depot but this is only part of the threat to DuPre and his friends. It also comes out, in the last 20 pages of the book, that the cult is experimenting with viral diseases. At the end of the book the reader is unsatisfactorily left with an unidentified cult head, key leaders of the group who are either killed or missing, and the cult still occupying the land. While this may reflect a current sense of national disquiet (and seems pervasive in today's news stories), it is difficult on the mystery reader who likes things tied up and labelled at the end of a story. This lack of real ending is the reason I give the book a less than stellar five-stars. But - long-time readers of Bowen will have few problems with the ending and no difficulties with the character interrelationships. The richness of characters is the driving force behind this series and this book does not disappoint. DuPre and Madeleine have once again graced our lives with their annual return - we can only hope for more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.