Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Wanted: McBain

by I.J. Parnham
A Black Horse Western from Hale, 2005

The wanted poster showed Sheriff Cassidy Yates that his ex-deputy, and friend, Nate McBain was a wanted man, a member of Fernandez’s outlaw gang. It’s Cassidy’s duty to arrest McBain, but when he finds him McBain claims he’s working undercover in an attempt to bring Fernandez to justice. Is McBain’s explanation really true? One thing is for certain: when Cassidy learns the truth, it will test to the very limit the strength of his friendship and duty as a lawman.

When I began reading this book I felt the author revealed too much of the truth behind McBain’s actions, I felt all the promised mystery elements had been explained far to early on. But I needn’t have worried, for I. J. Parnham was setting the reader up for a tale filled with twists and turns, double-cross and triple-cross as all the characters struggle to sort out the events they’re involved in. And my initial thoughts of having the plot explained early on soon disappeared in this maze of deception.

There’s mistrust between outlaws, and the lawmen hunting them are at odds with each other too. As the lawmen compete in a battle of wills it seems that McBain will succeed in whatever his real agenda is.

I.J. Parnham doesn’t fill his book with superfluous characters or events, what he does do is create a very entertaining read through a fast moving tale that builds twist upon twist until the satisfing ending.

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