as by John J. McLaglen
Wild Rose City, Dakota Territory. Eliza and Lily Sowren ran the town with a fist of iron. Eliza tall and bony, Lily short and fat – both as tough as nails. On the surface they were both pictures of elderly virtue but beneath something altogether different… As Jed Herne found out when the sisters called on his special talents to protect their silver mine from an unknown gang of thieves and murderers…
‘Darling, I am growing old,
Silver threads among the gold
Shine upon my brow today;
Life is fading fast away.’
John J. McLaglen is a pseudonym shared by Laurence James and John Harvey. This book was written by Laurence James.
The Sowren sisters make for two very memorable characters, James paints a gentle image of them, then through hints and finally actions brings out their real personalities in a series of shocking revelations, including sadistic torture and other perversions. These two elements often turn up in books written by James, but by having them as the darker side of two sweet old ladies, helps make them two of the most memorable characters James created.
Silver Threads also contains an equally memorable challenge to Herne’s reputation as a fast gun. The shootist trying to avoid the confrontation, even though he knows what the inevitable outcome will be. This scene is beautifully captured by the cover artist right down to the correct colour clothing.
For me, Silver Threads has always been one of the strongest entries in the Herne the Hunter series, and re-reading it now, confirms this is still so.
If you like tough, brutal, westerns then this book is well worth checking out – as is the whole series in my opinion. After Edge, Herne the Hunter is my favourite series to come from the group of authors known as the Piccadilly Cowboys.