Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The Vigilante

by Jory Sherman
Berkley, October 2005

Taken by surprise, the husband and wife who owned Del’s Roadside Store were tortured until they revealed where they’d hidden the strong box. Not satisfied with their ill-gotten gains, the robbers turned to murder. The two killers have a history of violent behaviour, but they’re the sons of two of the most respected and wealthiest families in the territory, and the law turns a blind eye to their misdeeds. Lew Zane doesn’t care about the law or the amount of money that tips the scales of justices. All he cares about is that his parents are dead and their killers roam free. If the law won’t see justice done, then he will…

Jory Sherman presents the reader with a thought provoking read. After the brutal killings of the elderly couple, the story is mainly about the frustrations Zane experiences in trying to get the law to bring his parents killers to justice as he runs up against corrupt lawmen and a real lack of evidence.

Sherman’s writing style works well to evoke a feeling of hopelessness. This also applies to the uplifting thread of finding love amoungst this time of sadness. Zane’s speech at his parents’ funeral being very powerful and moving.

As the book begins to run out of pages you have to wonder as to how all the threads to the story will be tied up. Some end in another sudden and savage act of violence and others Sherman leaves in the air indicating he hasn’t done writing about Lew Zane. (To date there are a further two Vigilante books)

Not an action packed western but one that makes you think about the law, money and justice and whether vigilante law has a place in society, then and today.

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