Lone Star Lady
by Linda Kennedy
LitFire Publishing

"That was what Trey had seen. That was why he was afraid of her. That was how she survived."

Morganna McKinney lives with a bounty on her head, one which her stepfather has placed there in order to ensure her death and his subsequent inheritance of her wealth. However, it isn’t as easy to collect as those who wish to cash in assume. Morganna is a formidable woman with a deadly coping mechanism: she becomes an almost animalistic, instinctive killer when confronted with danger. Her notorious reputation grows as the bodies of those in search of her begin to pile up, and her control over her alter ego becomes more tumultuous. At times she feels she is destined to live up to the tribal name given to her, Running Knife, fearing she may always live on the run. Yet, she is determined to claim what is hers from her unscrupulous stepfather; once freed from the tribe, she sets out to do just that.

Readers who enjoy strong female characters will find much to like in Kennedy’s second novel. With a female protagonist who possesses a personality as big as the book’s Texas setting, the novel is a character-driven story of survival in an unrelenting environment. The twists and turns of Morganna’s story capture the imagination as does the novel’s psychological aspect. It is an intriguing twist that Morganna becomes “that other lady” when faced with her own mortality at the hands of others. This character development adds depth to the story as it answers the underlying question concerning survival: how does one survive in the face of brutality? For Morganna, survival is accomplished at the hands of a “self” that she isn’t fully in control of. This is one that will keep readers turning pages into the wee hours of the night.

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