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The Outcasts

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,565 ratings  ·  285 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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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,565 ratings  ·  285 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
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.
Taryn Pierson
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lucinda Carter has escaped the Texas brothel with enough money to sustain herself as she travels to the Gulf Coast to meet her lover who has plans to make them rich chasing rumor's of buried treasure. At the same time, Texas State Policeman, Nate Cannon, is chasing a ruthless killer of men, women and children, named McGill, across the frontier. As Nate and Lucinda's stories intertwine, a truth is revealed, guns are drawn and debts are paid as Lucinda stops at nothing to make a new life for herse ...more
3.5 stars.

The Outcasts is one of the most powerful case of "cover love" I've ever had. As soon as I saw its cover, all I could think was "I don't care who wrote it, I don't care what it is about, I just want to read it!". Sometimes, this is highly dangerous: many times, the allure of a pretty cover convinced me to read books which turned out to be awful. This time, I was lucky, as I did heartily enjoy Kathleen Kent's novel.

The story is set in the Old West and follows the vicissitudes of two diff
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
It's the Wild West with a prostitute and an inexperienced lawman running loose.

Lucinda Carter and Nate Cannon will take you on a ride through the 1870's as they try to make a new life for themselves. They both wanted to start over, but they both ended up doing the same thing they always did.

Lucinda went from being a prostitute to being a teacher, and Nate is trying his hand at being a lawman to make a better life for his family.

Lucinda isn't an upstanding character, but her profession made her t
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
Dec 23, 2013 rated it liked it
It's always a thrill when my friend Paulette hands me a book without comment from her extensive audiobook collection as happened with The Outcasts. One of her many interests is books set in Texas, something I might not necessarily explore on my own. The Outcasts is a real Texas western, with a ruthlessly bad guy killer on the loose, a green Texas lawman, two grizzly seasoned Texas Rangers, and a brothel whore. The surprise is that the characters drive this novel more than the action. Nate Cannon ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are two threads running through this story. In one, Lucinda Carter escapes from Mrs. Landry's brothel. The girls can leave any time they want, but are searched and any money they managed to save up is confiscated for business expenses. But Lucinda not only escapes with her savings, but goes the madam one better. She'd discovered the woman's secret stash and looted it, slipping out in the night with a homemade key, from a pressing in soap, and is hours gone before anyone knows any different ...more
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Book Trailer 1 13 Sep 23, 2013 04:20PM  
Kathleen Kent's new book for Fall 2013 1 13 Feb 10, 2013 12:06PM  
  • Glorious: A Novel of the American West
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  • The Thicket
  • Crossing Purgatory
  • Into the Savage Country
  • The Return (Steve Dancy Tales, #4)
  • Iron Ties (Silver Rush, #2)
  • Elkhorn Tavern
  • The Notorious Mrs. Winston
  • Lily
  • The Spirit Keeper
  • Mistress Firebrand (Renegades of the American Revolution)
  • World's Greatest Sleuth! (Holmes on the Range, #5)
  • Mistress of My Fate (The Confessions of Henrietta Lightfoot, #1)
  • Dream West
  • Sisters of Shiloh
  • Sundance
  • Susannah Morrow
Kathleen Kent's latest book is titled THE DIME (Feb. 2017), a contemporary crime novel set in Dallas. She is the author of three best-selling novels, The Heretic’s Daughter---recipient of the David J. Langum Sr. award for American historical fiction---The Traitor’s Wife, and The Outcasts (set in 1870 Texas) which was the recipient of the American Library Association’s 2014 top choice for Historica ...more
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“It's hard to imagine, seeing how crowded the sky looks tonight, how far away one star is from another. Like, people, really. We can appear to be standing right next to each other, and yet in our minds, we can be thousands of miles away, lost to the outer reaches. But we're all together in the same black soup, which makes us all related somehow.” 10 likes
“Dr. Tom had said that Texas was the only place he had ever found that, when it killed you, it didn't forget about you.” 4 likes
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