Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Morgan Kane #27

as by Louis Masterson
Corgi 1975 - originally published in Norway 1969
Translated by Jeffrey Wallmann

Everyone in Mexico City enjoyed the Day of Death…it was a riotous carnival day of devil-costumes and feasting – a day when everybody had themselves a ball – everyone that is except U.S. Marshal Morgan Kane…

Kane had been planted in Mexico as bait for a gun-happy gang of bandits led by a man known as El Largo – the Big One. And El Largo’s gang planned on celebrating the Day of Death by shooting the Mexican President and beginning a revolution. But first they had to get by Morgan Kane – and that wasn’t going to be easy…

Interesting to find Kane back in Mexico City, a city that holds it’s own ghosts for him, a town with good memories too, in particular Zarco, a woman who’d meant a lot to him in the past (see book #2 in the series).

The fiesta, The Day of Death, becomes a promising backdrop for the final showdown, with everyone’s identities being hidden behind fancy dress costumes. The whole book builds up in gripping reading to this final, dramatic, struggle to save the President. Unfortunately that’s where the book went downhill for me, the promised excitement passed over quickly and the showdown at the fiesta didn’t happen, Kane confronting his suspects elsewhere, in a much more ordinary way. Even the identity of El Largo was obvious from early in the story.

So a book that built up well but for me, and the promised grand finale just wasn’t. Worth reading to follow the exploits of Kane and to discover what happens when he’s reunited with Zarco and other people from his past.

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