Friday, 25 May 2012

Reviews posted on

Last month I posted a selection of reviews from Now it's the turn of

Excellent charcter developmnet encased in breathtaking landscape descriptions. While the end result could be assumed, the plot snaked its way through interesting situations with an ending that was well developed with several interesting twists . A great read!

Tom McNulty's Best Black Horse Western yet! The story of Cole Tibbs methodical retribution for his father murder was brilliant! great supporting characters packed with suspense and action throughout the book. Could not put the book down. McNulty's writing style is colorfully explicit packed full of western flavor!

The Black Mountain Dutchman by Steve Ritchie is a well researched and well written Western capturing the mood of the mountain west in the 1870s. The wide-ranging plot, with many twists and turns, draws the reader into the action from the first page--and the suspense seldom lets up. The three main characters, an old man, an Indian and a strong-willed girl, are unique and admirable and there are tender moments of loyal affection between them. The Black Mountain Dutchman is an enjoyable read. Dottie Parish

Yet another formulaic western? not this one. Interesting story, and great character development - already been grabbed by a friend at work, who's read a few pages, and is going to get his own copy :)

Greg Mitchell has done it again. His latest western, "Murdering Wells" is masterfully executed. The western lover is immediately hooked by the gripping opening which involves the central character's brother (at first assumed to be the central character, which adds to the intrigue), some dastardly deserters from the army and a group of disenfranchised Indians with an understandable grudge.

Mitchell quickly and effectively moves into a fast-paced evolution of the storyline, where the main character, Luke Addison, must avenge his brother. His ability to weave interesting minor characters into the action continues to be a major strength. Even the horses emerge as having their own personalities who affect the course of events!

The geography and its impact on the story is always vividly described. Mitchell's knowledge and understanding of guns and horsemanship always make his stories very authentic and informative. His writing style is direct, ominous at times and humorous at others. The ending brings a strong sense of satisfaction with the significance of the title fully revealed and the hero remaining true to the tradition of the genre. A few little editing errors made on the trot by the publisher will not detract from the level of enjoyment to be derived from this great ride!

The book Winder Rider by Thomas McNulty I found very artistic and well written. I loved the story of Hank Benteen and the adventures he goes on to help the people of the valley and the love he has for Gloria. This book is very well written and I highly recommend it. The descriptions are beautiful and it really takes you right there with Hank. If you're looking for a great western book, I highly suggest Winder Rider. I give this book 5 gold stars, kudos to Mr. McNulty!

This is Gregory Mitchell at his best. Each of his westerns improves on the last and I'm already looking forward to the next one. Comanche Country Comanche Country (Black Horse Western)is an entertaining and thoroughly engaging read. Mitchell intertwines his characters and situations effectively whilst remaining true to the western genre. Each of the characters is well developed and their motives are believable.

Additionally, there is a delightful variety of characters in this story which adds to the fun. Mitchell's detailed knowledge of history, weaponry and horsemanship, combined with his conversational style and touches of humour, make for a story that is both informative and enjoyable. Although the final outcomes of the story are a little predictable, the twists and turns along the way keep the reader guessing and the denouement and resolution are both highly satisfying. The shootouts and the fight with the Indians were particularly well described.

If you enjoy westerns and like authenticity in the details about horses, history and gun battles, then you can't get better than this!

If you can't beat them, join them and beat them that way. "The Shadow Riders" is a western focusing on a ravaging gang of bandits in Arizona called the Shadow Riders. Tyrone Cannfield, an Arizona Ranger, infiltrates the riders in order to bring them down. A fascinating and intriguing western of the law and the outlaws, "The Shadow Riders" is a surefire treat for those who love westerns.

The Tarnished Star will not disappoint those who want a quick read that is lean, suspenseful and is true to the standard Western conventions. It has the feel of the Westerns from the 1950s and 60s. All of these qualities total up to a solid Western that is appealing and suitable for anyone's taste. The writing has almost a minimalist quality, resulting in a style that is spare and yet nuanced. Martin wisely keeps his storyline within a time frame of only a few days and fills his scenes with finely detailed scenes, rich characters and believable dialogue - the latter being one of the hardest skills for a writer of Westerns to master. The result is a book that you can get lost in with scenes filled with strong tension. One feels as if time has stopped, and I could not help but think of the movie High Noon throughout the story.

For those who like to read the works of new and talented writers, this is the book for you.

Matthew P. Mayo has a keen eye for the absurd. His Westerns are steeped in authenticity and boiled in action, but it is Mayo's skewed vision of the world that lingers long after the final page. He shows us the mythic West with the sharp, clear eye of a realist looking through rippled glass.

Mayo is the author of the novels WINTERS' WAR, WRONG TOWN, and HOT LEAD, COLD HEART, and the editor of WHERE LEGENDS RIDE: NEW TALES OF THE OLD WEST. At his finest, Mayo captures the surreal and very human quality of everyday life in the 19th century west. His protagonists meet whatever comes their way with nonchalance; they struggle in a world of misperceptions and uncertain realities, come what may. Time and again they must sort out the mythic from the mundane, the weak from the strong, the bizarre from the necessary. Yet, even deep within the most tangled cases of mistaken identity and the darkest of back alley nights, Mayo is always in control of his craft.

In HOT LEAD, COLD HEART, the protagonist Mason, a grizzled gunman who kills only those who deserve it, rides slowly through the woods to take care of one last problem before hanging up his gun. The problem? He must settle a score with a porcine megalomaniac whose sweaty grip on the town Cayuse Falls is slipping quickly away. On the way, Mason meets a big-hearted Irish drummer with logorrhea, a pair of mismatched sisters on a rampage, and a donkey and mule team that always shows up at just the right time. But the most compelling character is Rip, the town Marshall, who is caught between a manipulative benefactor and an ambitious wife. The overall effect of Hot Lead, Cold Heart is as much Louis L'Amour's HONDO as it is Barry Hannah's NEVER DIE or Percival Everett's GOD"S COUNTRY.

Mayo writes evocative prose, gritty characters, and action-packed scenes. Themes, as he has mentioned in interviews, "of self-reliance, overcoming adversity, [and] the satisfaction felt when a tough job is well in hand" run smoothly beneath the characters and the action.

If you enjoy authors like Jack London, Mickey Spillane, Jim Thompson, Loren D. Estleman, Robert J. Randisi, James Reasoner, Larry D. Sweazy, Peter Brandvold, and Johnny D. Boggs, then you will find a kindred spirit in Matthew P. Mayo--a kindred spirit who is nonetheless very much an original voice in the landscape of Western literature.

A cattle herder encounters a man savaged by wolves, his throat almost torn out. The man survives though can hardly speak and adopts the monicker `Silent'. It seems that Silent has mislaid his memory as a result of his ordeal. In repayment for saving his life, Silent cooks for the cowboys - until a couple of gunmen come looking for him.

Silent is slow to rile but fast to settle scores. The sudden gunplay sparks something in Silent's mind. When his memory begins to return, Silent sets out to discover why he was literally thrown to the wolves. On this journey of self-discovery he meets up with Gail, the sister of the trail sawbones who patched him up. They both find that they're intent on digging up the truth behind the massacre of a stagecoach's passengers. Unfortunately, they may end up digging their graves instead...

Fast-paced with plenty of characterisation, with a puzzle at its heart, this is an enjoyable fast read.

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