By Julia Robb
San Angela is a rough place in 1870, and Magdalena Chapas knows all about it; from the men who shoot holes in each other while drinking in her saloon, the Del Norte, to the man who loved her, married her and left her without a word. Now Ray Cortez is back, and Magdalena doesn’t know what her ex-husband wants.Does it have anything to do with the gravestone she leaned on the Del Norte’s back wall?
The stone says, “Americo Chapas, 1823-1868, Asesinado, Dios Lo Vengara, Murdered, God Will Avenge Him.”
Sing Kum knows about men.She was freezing to death in a boxcar when Lan found her and nursed her back to health.But Lan has a past and ambitions Sing only discovers when it’s too late. She already loves him.Dr. Wade Pickney knows what men can do because the Yankees locked him up in a POW camp during the war and almost starved him to death.Then they accused him of the unspeakable.Thomas knows what men can do because he was adjutant at the camp which imprisoned Wade.
Thomas, Magdalena’s partner at the Del Norte, also knows Ray Cortez is going to be the death of somebody if he, Thomas, doesn’t stop him.Thomas tells Magdalena that Ray was not a good man but she can trust him, she can love him.”Shut up,” Magdalena says, fending off the drunks, slipping the cards from the faro box, raking in the money, and waiting for her world to explode around her.