Texas Outlaw by James Patterson

Back in April, I was just getting used to the idea of working from home and living life in quarantine. I was really taking advantage of all the extra time by reading things outside of my normal reading habits. At a certain point, however, I started to hit a wall. I was needing something to read that was a bit more familiar and comfortable. I turned to one of my go-to authors James Patterson. His book Texas Ranger, was everything I needed at that moment, a quick escape from reality with likable characters and plenty of twists and turns.  All these months later, it is hard to believe that we are still living through the same scenario. Lucky for me, Patterson has released a sequel to his Texas Ranger thriller. Once again, I was able to quickly settle into the familiar comforts of Texas Outlaw. 

Texas Ranger Rory Yates has gained a bit more notoriety since we last looked in on him. Solving a string of high-profile murders and dating an up and coming country music star will do that to a man.  Today, Rory is enjoying the relative anonymity of visiting a local bank branch. This lunch break is not meant to be, and Rory soon finds himself in the middle of a good old fashioned bank robbery. This is nothing a seasoned Texas Ranger can't handle. Rory tries to talk some sense into the culprit, but the burglar continues to be threatening and violent. Given no other choice, Rory shoots the robber, ending any chance for the thief to hurt any of the innocent bystanders.

There's one thing Rory wasn't counting on. One of the bystanders in the bank has their phone up and recording the entire altercation. That video quickly made its way onto social media and spread like wildfire. Now Rory and the Rangers have a different kind of notoriety, the kind that has called into question the practices of law enforcement. Eager to let the flames from the viral video ease a bit, the Rangers send Rory to work in a small town until things cool off.

The Chief of police in Rio Lobo is not happy to have a Texas Ranger interfere with what looks to be a pretty cut and dry case. A woman died of an apparent allergic reaction (those pesky peanuts), and that seems to be the consensus around her untimely demise. Strangely, she phoned a friend hours before claiming she needed to speak to the police. As Rory begins investigating this peculiar death, it becomes very apparent that he is not welcomed in the town. When another man is shot and killed in the town, however, Rory realizes that things aren't as open and closed as they seemed. He pokes around and makes some discoveries that blow this case wide open. The only problem he doesn't have the power of the town's police or the Texas Rangers backing him up. If he's going to solve these murders, he'll have to go against all of his training and the rules of the rangers and become a true Texas Outlaw.

With Texas Outlaw, James Patterson and co-author Andrew Bourelle provided the kind of fast-paced escapism that I was needing. This sequel allows the pair to take their hero Rory Yates on a more nuanced emotional journey than the origin story first novel granted. As such, I'd give a slight edge to this one over the previous book. Patterson's trademark short chapters, non-stop action, and plentiful twists are all there, but it is the character work in this one that really elevates it from his usual fare. The familiarity I was craving was completely satisfied, and that is pretty much what I look for when I pick up one of his books. Texas Outlaw is escapist fiction at its most basic level. Sometimes that is all you really need.

For more information visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.
(2020, 37)


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20 Responses to “Texas Outlaw by James Patterson”

  1. And, this is why I've been devouring Historical Mystery right and left. Haha! My go-to escape.

    I remember your earlier review of Texas Ranger and thought I'd really dig it. Glad to know this one edged out the other to be a tad better for the personal depth.

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    1. You've been on quite the streak with your genre of choice haha. I'm glad we are able to find that escape still.

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  2. Are the books Patterson co-writes with other authors as good as his first novels? Or do you notice a difference in writing style? I was just wondering.

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    1. They can be pretty hit or miss. For me, nothing will ever top his Alex Cross series, but I occasionally have luck with these co-authored books. The early novels in the Michael Bennett series are pretty great too.

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  3. I used to faithfully read Patterson many years ago. But that familiarity is what finally had me saying no more. They all seemed to follow a formula. Big plus though for Patterson fans - there seems to be a new one every month!

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    1. They certainly can be very formulaic. That's why I'm very selective about which books of his that I read. I mostly stick to Alex Cross, but the novelty of the first Texas Ranger book drew me in.

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  4. A bank robbery and a rogue ranger - alright. Glad the follow up was even better than its predecessor. You mentioned short chapters. I am also a fan of those. I had to comment. I have only read one book by Patterson and it was YA tearjerker.

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    1. His early thrillers are pretty fun. He also has a YA series called Maximum Ride that you might enjoy!

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  5. Reading something different is good now and again.

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  6. There's such a comfort factor in returning to an old favorite. It's been a long time since I picked up something by Patterson but I always found his books to be so readable and addictive.

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    1. They are certainly addictive. I usually devour his books in few hours!

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  7. I’ve only read a couple of Patterson books but I’ve always found them so easy and enjoyable to read.

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    1. That's the main reason I still read them!

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  8. James Patterson's writing with his short, action filled chapters, reminds me a little of Sandra Brown's writing, which I'm currently reading right now. Maybe she's a bit more about setting the scene and characters than all out action, but she does write short chapters that end on what feels like a mini cliff sometimes. Certainly keeps the reader hooked. I do love escapist fiction and I like the sound of this series, especially this installment if the authors dug a little deeper with the characters emotional aspect. I'm off to see if there's an audio. Fab review, Ethan!

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    1. I bet it would be great on audio. I'll have to check out some of Brown's books. Do you have a recommendation on which one to start with?

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  9. I haven't read anything by Patterson in abut a decade so I'll add this to my list.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Most of his books over the past few years haven't really been worth a read, but I really had a fun time with this one!

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  10. This does sound like a great escape from reality and... I kind of hope the country star he is dating has a bit of a resemblance to Taylor Swift 🤷🏽‍♀️

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    1. Haha not quite. Texas Country is very much its own sub genre, and she fall much more in line with that.

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