On the shelves of bookstores, this new novel may appear to be just another piece of Western fiction, but it isn't.
Detroit writer Loren Estleman's new work probes the infamous Oct. 26, 1881, gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Ariz., and his cast of characters are well-known--Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday on one side; Ike, Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton on the other.
Based on lengthy research, Estleman has not only brought together the known facts of what happened before, during, and after the gunfight, but he has probed the intricate reasons for the fight, and its effects on those who survived--including the residents of Tombstone.
While his account is based on solid historical scholarship, Estleman admits the dialogue is his own, but as he points out in his postscript, the dialogue is crafted after the fashion of each character's speech pattern as recorded elsewhere, and upon common sense.