Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Breed #15

SLAUGHTER TIME
as by James A. Muir
Sphere, 1981

Luke Masters was a big name around Mattock. The Masters clan had the town in its pocket and no-one crossed Luke if he valued his life. Until Breed happened into town, and had a showdown with Luke and his men which left Breed more dead than alive. That was Luke’s big mistake. For Breed, alias Azul, was well acquainted with death. And when he returned on his quest for vengeance the violent and bloody legends of the West were going to take on a whole new savage reality…

Angus Wells, writing as James A. Muir, once again proves that he wrote some of the most savage books that came from the pen of the group of writers known as the Piccadilly Cowboys. This book is filled with brutal men – Azul included – and moves from one violent confrontation to another at a rapid pace.

Wells writes confidently and his attention to detail is exceptional, be it about the land, the heat, or the effects of bullets against flesh and bone, and of dying – read the description of teardrops into sand to see what I mean.

Breed comes across as single-minded, nothing will stop him achieving his need for revenge. At times he seems cold-hearted; witness the torture scene in the sandpit – savage yes but very memorable, and not one drop of blood spilled.

Like many of the Piccadilly Cowboys, Wells makes plenty of references to some of the other writers, their heroes, and those from films. Here you get mention of a romantic book written by Loretta James (Laurence James), Chato’s hunt for revenge (Charles Bronson’s film Chato’s Land), a book called Gunlaw by Charles Garrett (the pseudonym used for the Gunslinger books about a gunsmith), and there’s reference to the book Edge #14: The Big Gold (Tiger’s Gold in America), when a girl remembers being taken to see a travelling carnival and its block of gold protected by a tiger – she likens Breed to a hunting tiger.

This rates as one of my favourite books in the Breed series and, if you like the more brutal type of westerns, then you should consider tracking down a copy.

2 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

Hi Steve,

As you know I'm interested in these Brit westerns so thanks for the review. More please on the PC's...

Steve M said...

Hi Gary,

Your wish will be granted...over time...there's two more waiting in the wings even as I write this...