Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Dakota Lawman #2

by Bill Brooks
HarperTorch, June 2005

This is the second Dakota Lawman book.

Jake Horn was on the dodge for a crime he didn't commit. The town of Sweet Sorrow took him in and rewarded him with a badge he never wanted. Still, this out-of-the-way Dakota hellhole is a good place for a man to get lost in. Then William Sunday arrives, he's suffering from an illness that will soon claim his life and he's determined to reconcile with his daughter before his body does him in – or the band of bounty hunters hot on his trail. Then there's the man who killed his wife and children, a man Horn must bring to justice…

The title and blurb for this book are a bit misleading in that they indicate that William Sunday is the main storyline of this tale; in fact the hunt for the man who kills his family and it's effects on other people are the major storylines of this book.

The idea of Sunday dying of cancer can't help but bring comparisons to John Wayne's last film, The Shootist.

Bill Brooks manages to create a strong depressing atmosphere to the town of Sweet Sorrow, a backdrop for his, mainly, sad characters to act out their miserable lives. Brooks spends a lot of time explaining his characters past lives and following events that bring them to Sweet Sorrow – such as a wagon load of saloon girls.

Action comes at regular intervals and is often described in all its brutal violence and the reader has to wonder how many of the stories characters will be alive at the end of the book.

Like the first book in this series I felt it would have been better a little shorter, but even so Killing Mr. Sunday is a gripping read and is worth a look by any fan of the western genre if you like the harder, grittier approach to your reading material.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Sounds like a good read. Thanks as always for the review.