By Lee Clinton
Hale, November 2014
1870 and Indian Territory is a hellhole of lawlessness. Federal lawmen are being gunned down in cold blood and outlaws are trading arms to renegade Indians. The lawmakers in Washington fear that order has been lost and insurrection may spread to the peaceful tribes.
In desperation, a bold and secret plan is devised by two senior marshals to recruit a new and unknown deputy – one who can operate independently to hunt down and kill three notorious outlaws in reprisal. But has the right man been selected for this dirty, difficult and dangerous assignment? Walter Garfield’s background is more than a little shady, and he seems to have his own agenda. Why does he keep asking after a fourth man by the name of Jason Taylor who is travelling with a Mexican woman? And why will people call him Reaper?
For this, Lee Clinton’s fourth Black Horse Western, the author returns to his hero from his third book, The Proclaimers, but this isn’t a sequel, instead it tells of how the ex-marshal of that previous book became a lawman in the first place.
As he has done with all his earlier books Lee Clinton presents the reader with one of the longer Black Horse Westerns. The story takes place in just over a month, each short chapter having a sub-heading telling just what day and/or time its events happen.
The story proves to be an enthralling read, filled with superb characters and includes a gripping mystery thread; that of why Garfield is hunting for Jason Taylor, the answer to which took me completely by surprise.
As the fast moving tale progresses it soon becomes clear that some hard decisions are going to have to be made as Garfield and his small band of allies find themselves facing a far superior force in numbers. This leads to a hard-hitting finale that’s filled with tension that strains nerves to breaking point.
That concluding showdown is one of the most memorable I’ve had the pleasure to read for some time and it left me looking forward to Lee Clinton’s next book, something that can’t come soon enough in my opinion.
Lee Clinton is a pseudonym used by Leigh Alver, and I must also add thanks for the excellent dedication.