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Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
Rawhide Jake: Learning the Ropes (The Life and Times of Detective Jonas V. Brighton, 1) by JD Arnold is everything a western book should be and much more. This fictional story is based on the real life of Jonas Valentine Brighton. Jonas was also called Jake by some and would later be known as Rawhide Jack after a life filled with many different escapades. The book opens in Kansas after the Civil War. Jonas is in the penitentiary, being a prisoner from the Civil War era. The years that follow find him working with Jennie as a detective but that does not end well. As he moves on to other things, he ends up back in jail, killing men in self-defense, and catching criminals. He becomes well known and works as a cowboy, finding stolen cattle and serving "old West" justice on the cattle thieves.
I love reading about the “old West” and JD Arnold has created a beautiful and accurate picture of those early days. Rawhide Jake is the first in the series and I cannot wait to read book two. I was pulled into the story and so wanted to be there and meet all of the characters that were described. I would love this book to be turned into a TV show or movie. If you like western, Civil War-era history, or just good reading then this book must be put on the top of your reading list – it is just that good.