I'd really like to give a higher rating, but despite the interesting plot premise and good characters the actual plot narrative leaves much to be desired.
Firstly, a big silliness is the confession of murder made by the three women (who are the wives of the books title) to an ageing sheriff, a confession which is the trigger for the rest of the story. These women are not supposed to be below average intelligence, in fact one is an accountant's daughter and reasonably well educated, yet after saving themselves from a brutal heavily armed man who tries to rape one of them and threatens to kill the other two they seek out the law in the nearest town and virtually beg to be strung up for their wicked deeds! Frankly, that whole element of the plot is just ridiculously portrayed. Clearly they acted in self defence but at no time does the narrative show they explained this, the sheriff in fact thinks them guilty of murder, but doesn't want to hang them, because attractive, single women are so rare in his part of Texas! Hence the decision to organise a wife lottery to offer them freedom of sorts and offer the local batchelors a rare chance at matrimony.
The lottery idea itself is a good plot element and is well written, as are the romance elements between Baillee and Carter, but the silly confession and the fact the so called murderesses don't even check the 'dead' man for a pulse, just in case he did survive being brained by three women with a hefty piece of wood is a also daft! In fact (spoiler alert) the man must have had a skull constructed of titanium, because he did survive the blows and is out for vengeance. What's more said females confess murder but leave behind the 'dead' man's gold, which he as good as confessed is stolen! Surely handing in his stolen loot could have helped them receive a pardon, but such reasoning would require a brain and sadly whenever it is convenient to the plot the characters in this tale act like they left their brains in their pillow cases.
Such a pity, I love Carter's back story and the inclusion of the Gypsy family, but the ridiculous behaviour of the characters is just too much to swallow. One can only tolerate so much unbelievable behaviour before it becomes too distracting and irritating.
- Hardcover: 369 pages
- Publisher: Wheeler Pub Inc; Large Print edition (7 April 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1587249243
- ISBN-13: 978-1587249242
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 408 g
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