Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Ghost Town

 by Ed Gorman
Berkley, April 2001

Bryce Lamont’s hot on the trail of his former partners in crime. He wants a share of the loot that got them rich – and put him in prison. Surprisingly, he finds his old gang riding the straight and narrow in Wyatt, Wisconsin. He also finds that an outbreak of malaria is taking down Wyatt’s townspeople one by one…

Getting his money is easier than Bryce expected. But things get more complicated when a gang of thieves cleans out the bank, robbing Lamont of something money can’t replace. Now he’s ready and willing to make them pay. But can he fight the fever long enough to make the outlaws burn?

After a slow start Ed Gorman begins to add more and more questions to his plot that, although working well in hooking the reader, were a little easy to work out for both his hero and the reader. But it’s the finding of proof so that the guilty can be charged is what makes this a fascinating read. A book that comes over more as a mystery novel than a western - at times I felt I was reading a detective novel rather than a western. Even Nick Carter gets a name check. Ed Gorman wrote this book in the first person and his style is hard-boiled, which adds to the feeling that this book is more a pulp thriller set in the late 1880’s rather than a western.

Having said all that it is an entertaining read and I liked the fact that Ed Gorman’s hero is battling against malaria whilst trying to solve the mystery behind the bank robbery.

Definitely worth a look.


Chris said...

I've been cycling through my local library's catalog online looking for some of the books you've reviewed. This was the first to come up, so I've reserved it and will read it this week.

Enjoying the reviews, as usual. Where do you tend to pick these books up? Online, in-store? Some of them, like the Cy James one, seem like collector's pieces you might've had for awhile.

Steve M said...

Being in the UK there are very few shops that stock westerns - most will order them though.

I generally buy new westerns (American books) via the internet.

As I've been a reader of westerns for years then a lot of the older books were bought new when they were originally published - we're talking 1978 onwards.

Older books have been found in used book shops or ebay.