Catherine Bennett is the rare female surgeon in New York City, or anywhere, in 1871. Accused of a murder she did not commit and unable to offer an alibi that would not destroy her career and reputation, she is forced to flee. Landing in Galveston with a bounty on her head, Catherine Bennett becomes Dr. Laura Elliston and sets out to get lost. Elliston embarks on the Western Trail across Comancheria in a wagon train with a small party, recruited by one of the ubiquitous land men, to found a new town in Colorado.
Sawbones is Melissa Lenhardt’s second novel—and the first in a new series—of Western historical fiction, with elements of the mysterious thriller, and she’s hit the bull’s-eye with her first shot in this genre. Lenhardt grabs her audience in the opening scene, when Bennett practices new surgical techniques on a corpse she has paid a “resurrection man” to procure, and doesn’t let up until the final scene when Elliston rides off into the dark night with her new knight, on the run again.
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