Prodigal of the Pecos by C. E. Edmonson
from Goodreads: Clint Cooper returns home after many years to find the land of his birth embroiled in a bitter and deadly land war. An Eastern powerbroker, bent on fencing off the West Texas range for his own profit, hires gunslingers to bully the local ranchers and farmers into submission. As the Pecos River runs red with the blood of the innocent, Clint emerges to make a stand, determined to keep his faith and his family intact—or die trying.
Seems like I have read quite a few books recently that involved the topic of this book. The fencing off of the ranges so that the cattle couldn't roam free. The first chapter of this book grabs hold of you and doesn't let you go. This book delves into the greed that was present during this time and the lengths to which some men stooped. Growing up watching westerns starring John Wayne etc. I didn't really understand the problems that the ranchers and farmers had in protecting their land. Yes they had problems from Native Americans but they also had problems from greedy men just out to make a buck. This book reminded me of the movie "The Man who shot Liberty Valance" (and excellent movies starring John Wayne and Jimmiy Stewart (who by the way got his start in movies doing westerns)) Like the movie this is an excellent book and I would recommend it if you like stories about the West and the men who settled them.