Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Dakota Lawman #3

THE BIG GUNDOWN
by Bill Brooks
HarperTorch, October2005

The third, and probably last, book in the Dakota Lawman series, as Harper seem to have stopped publishing westerns.

Jake Horn is still hiding behind the badge of lawman in the Dakota town of Sweet Sorrow and his discovery of a dead ranch hand is soon bringing his demons home. Jake recognizes a murder when he sees one but asking too many questions of the wrong people is asking for trouble, and suddenly expert killers are gathering with their sights on the lawman. As the big gundown approaches Jake finds there's nowhere to hide when five shooters blinded by hate won't leave Sweet Sorrow until he's dead.

Unlike the previous two books in this series, Bill Brooks gives some of his characters hope, gives them something to live for – even if this could soon be taken away with a bullet.

Most of the people from the earlier books have a part to play in this story of brutality and savage death. The killing at the beginning being particularly horrific and will have the reader hoping the perpetrators will meet an equally savage end.

Bill Brooks also includes other adult themes such as homosexuals in both sexes. In fact the female lovers have a major role to play in the life of a gunman hunting Horn for a long ago killing he didn't commit.

Like his other books Brooks spends quite a bit of time introducing us to new characters and explaining their backgrounds, how they came to be the kind of person they are, which at times I felt held up the main flow of the story.

The book – indeed the trilogy of books – comes to a satisfactory ending here, and once more I'd recommend this series to readers who like the more brutal – in theme and action - type of western.

2 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

I think I'll check these out. You've sold me on yet another series.

Steve M said...

At least it's only a short series (3 books), so it shouldn't cost you too much getting them... then again Bill Brooks has had quite a few other westerns published...