Monday, 14 July 2008

Wildgun #8

as by Jack Hanson
Jove, February 2003

Will Barlow is hired to guide a wagon train along the Oregon Trail. Not only are there the problems of the trail but some of the pioneers need sorting out too. But these hurdles pale in comparison when he meets up with an old friend, a Shoshoni Indian called White Bear, whose family has been kidnapped by the Crow Nation. White Bear helped Barlow in the past so Barlow must return the favour, but what will become of the wagon train...

This is a book that could have been divided into three parts. The first dealing with the aftermath of book 7 in the series, then guiding the wagon train, and finally hunting the Crow kidnappers with White Bear. Not only does Barlow have to deal with these problems, he’s joined by two runaway nephews eager for adventure.

Jack Hanson is a pseudonym used by John Legg and here he presents the reader with a tale full of incident, action and adventure. For those who like adult encounters in their books then this is has its fair share of that too.

One thing a reader might struggle with is the dialogue of many of the characters, as it’s written as it is said, for instance the wagon boss, Ohlmstead, speaks thus: “Ve have seen some books from others who have made dis trip, but, vell, I ain’t so sure I belief dem.” This along with Barlow’s mountain man speak and White Bear’s prolific use of English swear words, can have you re-reading certain passages to make sure you get the gist of what is being said, but stick with it and I'm sure, like me, you'll pick it up and enjoy how it adds to the character of the story.

I found the book offered what I expected of it - having read the other books in the series - a great read that entertained.

This is the final book in the Wildgun series.

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