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The Outcasts

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,729 ratings  ·  310 reviews
A taut, thrilling adventure story about buried treasure, a manhunt, and a woman determined to make a new life for herself in the old west.

It's the 19th century on the Gulf Coast, a time of opportunity and lawlessness. After escaping the Texas brothel where she'd been a virtual prisoner, Lucinda Carter heads for Middle Bayou to meet her lover, who has a plan to make them bo
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published September 2013 by Hachette Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  1,729 ratings  ·  310 reviews

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Diane S ☔
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Extremely glad to see the reemergence of the Western novel and this novel embodies many of the features of the old westerns; a prostitute, a killer, a town where treasure is supposedly hidden and of course, lawmen. A chase, and a unpredictable ending make this a face paced and entertaining read.

Lucinda, never could quite figure out if I liked this character or not. Was she at all sympathetic, yes, I sympathized with her early life and her illness at a time when it was not at all understood. But
Nicole Overmoyer
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am so sad that I finished this book.

I want it to keep going and going.

I won it in a Goodreads FirstReads giveaway and the moment I pulled it out of the envelope, I knew I'd like the book. So kudos first to whoever designed one of the best book covers I've seen in a very long time.

More kudos to Kathleen Kent for the interesting, intriguing, and excellent plot she created in this book.

The main characters, Lucinda and Nate, don't even meet until the last fifty pages or so and while that may seem
Tara Chevrestt
I love strong women in books, and when I saw this cover and read the blurb, I thought, "Heck yea."

While I didn't hate this story, I'm a tad disappointed. I thought I was getting some kinda gun-slinging woman outlaw, but truth is, she only actually wields a gun once at the end and she's really just a cold, heartless whore--made that way by men. There's something a bit crazy about her, to be honest, and I'm not referring to her seizures.

The story alternates between her and Nate, a new Texas Ranger
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

When we first meet Lucinda “Lucy” Carter, it’s the late1800’s and she’s making her escape from a Texas brothel with more than a few dollars of the madam’s stash in tow and an invitation to teach in Middle Bayou, Louisiana. She’s got more to do in Middle Bayou than just teach, though. In fact, a man is supposed to meet her there and he’s got buried treasure on his mind, and plans to use Lucinda to get it. Meanwhile, young N
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novel! The Outcasts is an engrossing novel set in the American west where no one is perfect and everyone is in search of something! The story unfolds through the points of view of Nate Cannon and Lucinda Carter.

Nate is an immediately likeable character. He leaves a young wife at home to join a cattle drive and later the Texas State Police. On his first assignment, he encounters two crusty old Texas Rangers, George Deerling and Tom Goddard. They have spent a lifetime hunting a ruthl
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
I really loved the atmosphere and the setting of this book, but found it difficult to care about its protagonists. Kathleen Kent can write a pretty sentence, but it felt like the third-person narrative was far too distanced from its characters. I didn't end up really liking either Nate or Lucinda, which meant that the second half of the book dragged much more than the first. There is only so much riding across the desert that one can do before action is required.

Ultimately, I just didn't find th
Feb 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was really excited to read this book. I love westerns and the book cover for this book is eye catching. However, once I actually cracked open this book, I found it was nothing like I was hoping for. I kind of found Lucinda to be crude. Nate is unmemorable. In fact, I could not really tell you what this book was about as I only got about ten chapters in and put the book down with no regrets. Plus, it moved extremely slow with little action from what I saw. I like my westerns to have lots of act ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
 It starts out slow but I was determined to stick to it. I wish I hadn’t. You don’t like the main character Lucinda and that doesn’t change even though I think the author wanted you to. I was hoping for an exciting western story. It was a weird story, and I was glad when it ended.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, western
Beautifully done Western, told in two alternate narrative perspectives. The lines begin as apparent parallels in a Western plain, then tilt together, before joining irrevocably at a single, heartbreakingly stunning, point.
Didn’t know how much I was wanting to read a good western until I got into this book. This is now the second book I have read by Kent and I’m a fan. Really enjoy how she writes.
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you've never had the pleasure of reading a western, this book is the place to start. I learned my appreciation for westerns from my dad, who has a particular penchant for The Duke (John Wayne, of course). I spent a fair amount of my growing-up years watching classic western films and buying my dad secondhand copies of Louis L'Amour and Zane Grey novels for holiday gifts. There's something romantic and appealing about the deeply principled lawman, hunting down an unequivocally evil ne'er-do-we ...more
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-14
After Code Name: Verity, this one needs to not hurt me.

Oh, thank god, there was no weeping.

Despite knowing that Kathleen Kent is a great author (love Heretic's Daughter, actually got into a long discussion with a big burly truck driver once about how much it rocked), I was hesitant about this book. The cover made me want to read it immediately (I do judge books by their covers), but it's a western, and I just don' westerns.

I was captivated from the start, though. Lucinda creeping out o
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Not a western lover or partial to Texas as a locale, this book captured me immediately. It opens with a prostitute running way from her brothel with the Madam's live savings. The interesting twist with this character is she is epileptic! This is 1870, not much known about things like this yet. It made her story very interesting.

There are three lawmen on the trail of a very dangerous killer. Two are seasoned Texas Rangers and one is a young Texas policeman. I really enjoyed watching the bonding o
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Additional Info based on 2nd reading finished last night:

This book was more interesting on the second reading. I got more insight into the characters and the plot was as fun as ever. I am now a staunch a Kathleen Kent fan. Don't miss this if you're looking for a fun read with some literary qualities!

Original Review (only 4 stars, but true observations):

This was my first experience reading Kathleen Kent, and I very much enjoyed it. Fans of historical fiction from this time and place should be we
Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
To tell you the truth, I can count on one hand the number of Western gun-slinging historical fiction I have read in the past two years. I like historical western reads, but I am quite particular with the books I want to devour.

When I saw The Outcasts, I felt like it was calling on to me, luring me to see the pages and Kathleen Kent mesmerized me with her words. True enough, I was able to read this whole book in just one sitting and it was one mind-blowing, heart-pumping, action-packed, gut-wrenc
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5, but I rounded up because it was a book that I won't forget. I'm not usually a fan of westerns for several reasons - the body count, for one - and this book has its fair share. But since this tale sounded unusual, I picked it up and was not disappointed. Two rangers and a policeman track a murderer across several states in order to kill him and to apprehend the prostitute that is with him. The free-for-all that was post-Civil War Texas and New Orleans are hard to fathom, as well as the monum ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. Beautifully written, incredible characters, no disappointing, cliche romance! Yay! It's set in the Wild West but isn't a history. So many good details of character and place...a true work of modern literature. ...more
Judy King
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow...What a great couple of reading weeks this has been -- the last four books have all be extra special -- every one a book I didn't want to end -- and The Outcasts has been the pick of the litter. What are the signs of extra special books? for me it is a great "Hook" and Kathleen Kent (I've loved her other books: The Heretic's Daughter is another favorite) can cast that hook better than most. I read nearly 40% of the book on the first night...Saturday. I read til about 1:30 and then had to fo ...more
It's not you, Outcasts. It's me. I just don't like depressing historical fiction. I guess I am not literary enough to appreciate the high body count and terrible things that happen to most of the characters. This book does seem well written to me. Characters were complex and detailed. the psychopaths of the story were especially well-done. The setting was rich and seemed historically accurate (although this area/ time period/ socio-economic subgroup is not exactly my area of expertise), and I le ...more
The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent. To start with, the heroine's history and through her own eyes comes to the fore. She had epilepsy before anybody knew what it was, and her father considered it a curse of the Lord and put her into an institution. She had a wonderful empathy and ability to relate to the sick, the downtrodden, no matter what the problem. And they all loved her. She was also intelligent...intelligent enough to make her own way and out of situations that could and did do real damage to ...more
I don't typically gravitate to Westerns in my reading, but I couldn't resist the setting in this one: Galveston, Texas (not to mention Austin and Houston).

It is a tale of the law chasing a criminal across the state to right a wrong. The characters here are well drawn and the plot lines believable. The story focuses on a Texas law man, Nate Cannon, newly sworn in, that is to deliver news to two fellow lawmen that a wanted killer, McGill, has been spotted in the far reaches of Texas. Texas is big
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it
We have come a long way from the 1870s, even in Texas.
In the course of her life Lucinda samples all the available careers for women at that time: wife, mother, prostitute and schoolteacher. Desperate for acceptance as an epileptic she falls in with the plans of a client, who unfortunately is a homicidal killer hunting for rumors of Lafitte's lost gold in the bayous between Houston and Galveston.
Hunting the killer is a trio of lawmen, 2 old timers and a rookie who earns their respect and trust.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
So this book started out good and I looked forward to the whole treasure hunt aspect. Sure it was a bit slow but I held in there hoping for more than what I got out of the book. I had hoped that I would have to write a good review since I won it on goodreads but, alas, I didn't care for it. ):
I mean it just went on and on and on! I was dying of boredom by the time I finished and almost shouted for joy when it was over. It was mainly about death, travel, sex, death, guns, and more sex.
For more p
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book through a Good Reads giveaway and was very excited...I had already read The Heretic's Daughter....The Outcasts is set in the west...Texas and New Orleans...not my usual genre...but the location only enhances the starts of slow but races to a great finish...Kathleen Kent's development of characters is fantastic...Lucinda, Nate, Dr Tom, Deerling and Bill are intertwined in such a is like peeling the layers of an onion till you get to the center and everything mak ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it
A character driven western. The story is told in alternating storylines of Nate (Texas policeman) and Kathleen (prostitute) with a diverse supporting cast of characters. It took a while for me to be involved in the story, but it did get its hooks into me and I had to keep reading to see how their stories connected and how their stories finished up. Kathleen was not the person I imagined her to be from the story's blurb, which threw me throughout the story. There was a little surprise in the endi ...more
Jessica Russell
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kathleen Kent’s historical fiction is so well-written and well-researched, and also tends to be a bit bleak and tough- much like the eras she writes about. This one is no exception. While it made me feel a bit down, I also really wanted to keep reading. The end offers a bit of hope and shows how interconnected our lives can be, which I was surprised by and happy about.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked how the story comes full circle at the end.
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Outcasts is a strong searing drama about murder and drama during the 1800s on the Gulf Coast. The pace is slow with action throughout but to call it a thriller would be incorrect. The driving force behind the Outcasts are the characters and the ties that bind them.
Lucinda Carter escapes from a brothel to meet with her lover and plan a new life. She knows that the man she loves is different than other men but she excuses his crimes with a lie of what he could be.
William McGill is a murdere
The Outcasts is decidedly anti-climactic for all the build-up regarding the mysterious McGill. For one, the entire plot is too predictable. Supposed plot twists are not twisty, and hidden identities are anything but hidden. Even the most careless reader can pick up on the direction of the plot and hazard accurate guesses as to the eventual outcome. The story is still enjoyable as decent stories are but not as suspenseful as was intended.

As is often the way of things, the bad guys are more exciti
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Kathleen Kent’s fifth book titled The Burn, sequel to the Edgar-nominated The Dime, is a contemporary crime novel set in Dallas. Kirkus gave The Burn a starred review, and The Washington Post writes, “Raymond Chandler praised Dashiell Hammett for taking crime fiction out of the drawing room and into the streets. With Betty Rhyzyk, Kathleen Kent brings those mean streets to life as excitingly as an ...more

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