The Jayhawker by Norm Ledgin

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The fanatical John Brown chooses a natural-born killer to help cart rifles into Bleeding Kansas. He’s Malcolm Erskine, mixed-race drifter off the docks of Massachusetts, where he’d endured Yankee bigotry and slain two men. Besieged Kansas-settling abolitionists enlist Erskine in the Border War to repel invading proslavers. Aiding transplanted New Englanders, young Wild Bill Hickok tries to guide Erskine, but Malcolm makes it a personal fight. Outrage over the savagery of the enemy drives him to even bloodier retaliation, and he’s on his way to becoming more notorious than Brown. Erskine is quickly wanted dead or alive, stalked by Missouri Bushwhackers and bounty hunters. Yet he manages to escape jails and an attempted lynching to assemble and lead counter-offensive forces of Jayhawkers. Meanwhile, women of every race throw themselves at this handsome and legendary adventurer. Question is, will he ever settle down to enjoy the racial freedom he’s fighting so hard to win for slaves and other people of color? Or will race hatred bring him down? The Jayhawker pulls no punches when it comes to treachery, gore, sex, even the frontier frustrations that lead to incest. Few authors succeed credibly in combining hard-fighting adventure with romance, but historical fiction writer Norm Ledgin pairs ingeniously calculated warring and intense lovemaking as natural expressions of a cunning and well-motivated hero.

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Published June 4, 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 711 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction