Ralph A. Monaco II, in Son of a Bandit, brilliantly brings to life the overlapping stories of the legendary bandit, Jesse James and his sole surviving son, Jesse Jr. The author weaves the reader through a story consisting of thought provoking questions - the same puzzeling questions anxious readers of contemporary newspapers had read of the bandit and his son. Would he rob trains like his pa or stand trial as did his Uncle, Frank James?
An excerpt from a fateful day in the life of a Son of a Bandit: "A young boy about six, and his younger sister, nearly three, having heard the same echoing noise also bolted through the threshold. The young lad observing his weeping mother and mortally wounded father instantly felt revenge in his heart and soul."
Son of a Bandit is packed with murder, adventure, suspense, and mystery. The writer integrates a wide scope of popular local Missouri history and National news headlines of the time between the pages of a masterfully written book. Within one week of being published, Son of a Bandit, Jesse James & The Leeds Gang, author, Ralph Monaco, received the John Newman Edwards Literary Award from President of the James Farm, Christina Kennard. The book also received national acclaim as being one of the top 10 most sold self-published books in America in its first month of publication in May 2012.