Cottonwood Kansas, 1872: Dreams of a new life attracted immigrants, fortune hunters -- and the "Bloody Benders," a family of serial killers who preyed on wayfarers… Cottonwood Kansas, 1872: Dreams of a new life attracted immigrants, fortune hunters -- and the "Bloody Benders," a family of serial killers who preyed on wayfarers… 2004-02-03 Fiction
Book Review

Cottonwood (2004)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Feb 03, 2004; Writer: Scott Phillips (Author); Genre: Fiction

Kansas, 1872: Dreams of a new life attracted immigrants, fortune hunters -- and the ''Bloody Benders,'' a family of serial killers who preyed on wayfarers seeking shelter, or beguiled by their beautiful daughter Kate. Yet Kate and her murderous brood are only supporting players in this fictional re-creation, set in a boomtown of brothels and vigilante gangs. As seen through the eyes of saloon keeper and photographer Bill Ogden, Cottonwood's rise from frontier lawlessness to respectability sweeps along briskly, unpacking surprises at every turn. Despite occasional patches of lurid grotesquerie, Phillips' vision adds up to an indelible portrait of a haunted town, as starkly delineated and unsparing as an antique tintype.

Originally posted Feb 06, 2004 Published in issue #749-750 Feb 06, 2004 Order article reprints
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