The eccentric characters (some real, others inspired invention) from Sin Killer, the first of Larry McMurtry's epic four-part frontier adventure, are now journeying up the Missouri River in this second volume, The Wandering Hill, and they're still a fascinatingly unruly lot. The autocratic Lord Berrybender, who brought an ample part of his aristocratic family, plus a retinue of retainers, from England to amble and shoot their way across America, is losing his grip. But his beautiful, fiercely feisty, archly articulate daughter, Lady Tasmin, now married to her enigmatic mountain man Jim Snow, is there to take control and infuse this saga with her special spice and swagger. The super-talented Alfred Molino maintains the perfect narrative momentum, giving each colorful character a unique voice with a spot-on accent.

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