Monday, 14 July 2008

Shiloh #8

as by Dalton Walker
Diamond, July 1992

Cephas Beck was a mean old man, a mean rich old man. Shiloh trades blows with Beck’s lowlife son Elias and knows it won’t be long before Elias attempts to kill him. He also knows that if he has to kill Elias, Cephas will pay any price for revenge on anyone who hurts his boy.

Fate has other ideas and Elias meets a cruel death under the hooves of a ferocious wild stallion. Now Cephas’s greedy dreams of racing this magnificent horse came crashing down in a madman’s rage for vengeance - and Shiloh is hired to track a mount fit for the Devil himself!

Gary McCarthy, author of books seven and eight of the Shiloh series, was around this time writing his Horsemen series and this plot could easily have been adapted to fit that series so it seems McCarthy was in a phase of writing books featuring horses. Not a bad thing as it presents a new slant on the bounty hunting trade by having Shiloh tracking a horse instead of a man.

McCarthy’s Shiloh doesn’t come across quite the same as the man created by the original author, Henry Schlesinger, he comes across as a much better educated man in thoughts and speech. The dreams that are supposed to haunt Shiloh are almost non-existent and he isn’t as quick to use his fists or guns, would rather look for other options to solve his problems than using violence. At times I found myself picturing another character that McCarthy writes about in place of Shiloh, that person being Custis Long of the Longarm series.

Having said all that I found this story to be an entertaining read, a book filled with action and an interesting plot. The ending of this book being a satisfying conclusion to not only the story but to the series.

No comments: