Massacre at Agua Caliente
Craig Rainey’s debut novel, Massacre at Agua Caliente, is based upon the award-winning screenplay of the same name. Masterfully written in the unique style of turn-of-the-century western authors, the action-packed story is beautifully crafted with rich description and colorfully authentic dialogue.
Massacre at Agua Caliente has been favorably reviewed by critics and readers alike for its unique story, writing style and interesting characters that leap from the page and make the reader care about them. The story is told through the eyes of the supporting characters, casting the main character, Boyd Hutton, in a shroud of mystery which never reveals his thoughts or ambitions. Only his actions give the reader any indication of his thoughts and motivations.
Boyd Hutton is a desperate and ruthless outlaw, known for his swift and deadly actions. His latest crime, the attempted robbery of the most secure bank in the western territories, ends with the destruction of his devoted gang of outlaws. Alone, he flees a posse and Texas Rangers. He is joined along the way by young Cab Jackson, who helps the outlaw across the Rio Grande into Mexico where Hutton continues his crime wave. One evening Hutton and Jackson happen upon a Quinceanera where Alida, the daughter of a powerful Mexican official, is being celebrated. Hutton encounters Juliana, Alida’s elder sister.
Unexpectedly, Juliana’s interest in the tall stranger turns into a desperate fight for her life as Hutton kidnaps her and eludes the immediate pursuit of her father’s men.
Juliana will learn that despite the efforts of her father, the Mexican army, and relentless bounty hunters, she will have to rely on a courage and inner strength she never knew she possessed. Torn from her life of luxury and privilege, her life on the run in an unforgiving wilderness changes her. As the kidnappers elude desperate rescue efforts, Juliana presents Hutton an opponent unlike any he has ever before faced. Before the end of her ordeal, Juliana will grow to learn much about her father, her captors, and to her surprise, her own abilities and strengths.
OnLineBookClub.org rated Massacre at Agua Caliente 4 out of 4 Stars. The Texas Frontier Western is written with rich prose. Riveting authentic dialogue, compelling characters, and rich descriptions create a nearly palpable canvas upon which is played a thrilling story of violence, love, struggle, and justice.
Witness True Courage
Massacre at Agua Caliente is a compelling story written in the style of turn of the century western authors like Max Brand and Zane Gray. Craig Rainey tells the story of a driven and desperate outlaw with a descriptive style which transports the reader into a time long lost to history. The novel is written in a classic style with a modern edge which will hook the reader, and keep the reader interested in the story.
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“Craig Rainey’s Massacre at Agua Caliente is a gripping story, the kind that lingers in your thoughts and stays with you even after reading the book.
Boyd Hutton is a fugitive and an outlaw. He is guilty of robbery and murder. Still, nothing in the man reveals his dark past and the present turmoil he faces while on the run. On many occasions, he comes face to face with death but somehow he outmaneuvers his capturers. Death becomes his constant companion either as the murderer or the prey. At Agua Caliente, In the East of Texas, Hutton and his men attempt to rob a bank that is known to have never been robbed before. He escapes while his men perish. Is there an end to this outlaw? Can he redeem himself and settle down or is this the only life that he will ever live?
In this fascinating story, I appreciated Craig Rainey’s ability to create opening scenes that later present the main character. The author first describes life in Agua Caliente, giving details of its establishment and economic activity. He also tells the details of the happenings at the robbery from different angles, each of them fascinating and different from the other. The outcome is a series of striking scenes.
As the main character, Hutton is well-suited for his role. His character and unusual demeanor even in the face of certain death make the story stand out. He has flaws, most of them despicable yet somehow he is almost admirable. Creating a character as complex as Hutton portrays Rainey’s skill as a writer. Even though he is deeply flawed, Hutton still manages to captivate and interest the reader. The supporting characters are also well-designed to support the main characters.
The main backgrounds of the story, for instance, Agua Caliente, are either sleepy towns mostly with little activity or treacherous terrains. These uneventful backdrops accentuate the action that takes place in them. Many times the locals are left surprised or shocked while the tales of Hutton’s activities spread widely around different towns. The difficult landscape that Hutton comes across as a fugitive in Mexico also reveals his experience and confidence.
Massacre at Agua Caliente by Craig Rainey is well-edited. The structure of the book with its clearly marked chapters and well-described scenes makes it an easy read. The writing is done adeptly and the characters are realistic and flawed. Every turn in the book is surprising and unexpected. For every reader who is fascinated by the adventures of an outlaw, Massacre at Agua Caliente is the book to read. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.” – Onlinebookclub.org Official Review
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Meet the Characters
Notorious outlaw, Boyd Hutton, escapes Texas Rangers and ruthless bounty hunters in a harrowing midnight flight into Mexico. Once there he finds the beautiful Juliana, who is in attendance for her sister's Quinceanera. Hutton and his new partner, Cab Jackson kidnap Juliana beginning a nationwide manhunt.
Daughter of Governor Gonzaba of Cuahuilla, she is the apple of her father's eye. After her kidnapping and weeks in captivity, the Governor places a decree of death on her kidnappers and her heads. The motive is an honor killing in reaction to the defilement sure to occur.
The famous man hunter is commissioned to rescue Juliana by the Governor. The hunter who had never failed will face the challenge of his life with the driven American outlaw.
Craig Rainey’s Massacre at Agua Caliente is a gripping story, the kind that lingers in your thoughts and stays with you even after reading the book...Massacre at Agua Caliente by Craig Rainey is well-edited. The structure of the book with its clearly marked chapters and well-described scenes makes it an easy read. The writing is done adeptly and the characters are realistic and flawed. Every turn in the book is surprising and unexpected. For every reader who is fascinated by the adventures of an outlaw, Massacre at Agua Caliente is the book to read. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
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Debut author Rainey keenly depicts an unforgiving landscape throughout his novel - a nearly lawless world where brutal violence can erupt at a moment's notice.
I am amazed that this is the first book written by this author. There are certain key moments that really shine that speak to an author's story telling in any good book, and this story had quite a few. The ending left me feeling touched on a personal level, which I also say is indicative of a great story teller. There is honest hardship that anyone having been through plight in their lifetime will find respect for in their own way. Bravo, I look forward to more of Mr. Rainey's works! Recommending to my friends and family.
I loved the authentic language and the complexity of charters and their hardships and dramas. The conclusion is riveting and emotionally captivating.
"I love reading western stories... but this book is a must read as it is an outlaw story."
- Reader Review
"I'm not a typical reader of western novels, but the author's descriptive and storytelling skills made me change my mind about reading this novel."
- Reader Review
"Craig Rainey’s Massacre at Agua Caliente is a well written masterpiece. Detailed descriptions and captivating story telling. How he manages to get the reader to stomach Boyd Hutton and his despicable nature is a wonder. Great job."
- Reader Review