In this sophisticated variation on Ernest Haycox's "Stage to Lordsburg" (itself a reworking of Guy de Maupassant's "Boule de Suif"), Zimmer holds the reader's attention by shifting the storytelling among Dawson's group, the Indians and the Cantrell gang. He displays a fine eye for period detail, flawlessly evoking a particular time and place, as he did in Sundown and Dust and Glory . This new novel confirms his place as an important writer in the western genre.
Holed up in a stone fortress in the middle of a dusty wilderness with a gang of cutthroats on the run from the law, a war party of Cheyenne bent on revenge haunting the barren hills surrounding them. Only one man knows what it is going to take to save the lives of the innocent occupants of the besieged outpost. One man and one rifle - the famed Whitworth, capable of throwing a lead slug eight hundred yards. But is that going to be enough?
On a hot August day, Clint Dawson rides across the Kansas prairie, heading for Fort Dodge. A gunshot followed by a Cheyenne war cry changes his plans, and he finds himself in a valiant struggle to save the passengers and crew of a wrecked stagecoach from warriors bent on revenge. The group must reach Cottonwood Station if they have any hope of survival. Zimmer has written a fast-paced Western with a great deal of action and some raw language. He introduces many characters in a confined space for a short period of time and succeeds in giving depth and quality to each one. He refrains from stereotypes of good and bad so often found in the genre. True to the formula, however, is the ultimately satisfying conclusion in which the hero and the girl ride off into the sunset.
—School Library Journal