This was a great book, one of the best stand alone Westerns (i.e. not a series) I've read IMHO. The way it was written was very effective and original, in fact I can't remember a book being written this way before. You had to judge people in the book by their actions, reactions or what they said or didn't say, You never got to know what the character's were thinking as no thought processes were detailed in the narrative i.e. there was never anything like "he thought", "she wondered" etc. It reminded me of watching a movie in some regards where you had to judge a character by what they did or said as you couldn't know what was in their minds.
The basic story revolves around the town of Nowhere which is on the cusp of the states Texas and Oklahoma but belongs to neither so it is in effect in "No Man's Land" and totally lawless as no state statutes apply there, A gang led by Black Jack Shelton take over the town gradually without the citizens noticing as the profit by the money the Outlaws are spending in the business, before they know it the town in a wild and lawless place. The story builds to a brutal and bloody outcome but I won't detail the whole story here as I don't want to ruin in for other readers. The whole pace of the book is very quick and I couldn't put the book down once I started it. The violence at times in the book is shocking as it comes totally out of the blue most of the time as you don't know what the character is thinking about before they trigger the violence, Billy Braden is a good example of this when he kills two innocent traveller's at the start of the book. What I also found interesting is that there isn't really a central hero figure in this book and this made it more life-like to me as there wasn't one good guy putting everything to right at the end of the tale.