Thursday, 2 October 2008

Canyon O'Grady #8

 BLEEDING KANSAS
as by Jon Sharpe
Signet, July 1990

The year is 1958; Kansas territory was due to be a state. The question was would it be slave or free. Both sides were willing to do anything for their cause, including killing. Buckeye Springs was becoming the centre of this violent struggle. A storekeeper is hanged but this death doesn’t seem to be part of the Kansas war. A US Marshal is sent to investigate and is killed. President Buchanan sends O’Grady in to find out who killed the Marshal and storekeeper and bring them to justice. And while he’s there see if he can bring some kind of law to Kansas.

This book manages to juggle the two plots of the story in a believable way. The fight to control Kansas allowing the author to put in some interesting historical facts. Having said that there is a bad mistake as some of the Northern raiders say they are going to burn Buckeye Springs to the ground in revenge for the sacking of Lawrence. I thought the attack on Lawrence was a few years later than this book was set.

Like other Jon Sharpe books this one has it’s mystery elements - who killed the storekeeper and why? There’s plenty of action, both gunplay and adult encounters, and strong characters of both sexes.

I believe the author behind the pseudonym of Jon Sharpe, for this entry in the series, is Chester Cunningham.

All in all an entertaining read.

4 comments:

IH said...

Canyon O'Grady is another great character like Spur McCoy - well written and wittier and more intelligent than many adult Western characters.

Steve M said...

Have you read Jon Sharpe's main series; The Trailsman?

IH said...

Yes I have, and I like it, but I think I prefer Canyon O'Grady. I enjoy The Trailsman, but I don't feel any warmth towards the character of Skye Fargo. Skye Fargo occasionally feels like a bit of a machine, whereas Canyon O'Grady feels more human.

Steve M said...

I'll have to read more of the O'Grady books - I have them all - as so far I've only read the first nine.

I also have all the Trailsman books and have read about 200 of those.