Monday, 20 October 2008

The Derby Man #3

MUSTANG FEVER
by Gary McCarthy
Dell, April 1981

This is the third book in The Derby Man series.

Darby Buckingham, the portly New York writer, had an appetite for local colour to add punch to his newest dime novel. But when Hench Hightower’s men rode into town with a herd of half-dead mustangs, Darby had no stomach for what he saw.

Three renegades hungry for justice rode out with him: a trigger-quick kid with a score to settle, an old trail hand, and a beautiful girl with revenge in her heart and a Colt six-gun on her shapely hip. It was time to end a vicious cattle baron’s control of the Nevada range…time to end the killing of mustangs. Darby looked like a dude, but he’d fight like a demon. Caught up in a stampeding adventure to rival any fiction, Buckingham swore he’d live to tell the tale.

Even more than in the previous two books, Gary McCarthy, puts Darby Buckingham into a situation that has him totally out of his depths. This gives the author the opportunity to add some fascinating information about catching wild mustangs – and according to the notes at the end, most are based on fact.

Like the other Derby Man books, this one is filled with exciting action and many humorous moments, sometimes both elements combined in one scene: such as trying to catch a mustang from a tree!

Gary McCarthy paces the book beautifully, his descriptions of landscape and action being extremely visual at times. His characters are memorable – both good and bad – and all the plot threads are tied up neatly at the end.

This is another book that proves the strength of The Derby Man series.

3 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

will look this book up but where's the derby man on the cover? That looks like Rod Steiger

Mister Roy said...

Slightly disappointed that 'the Derby Man' isn't Mick Keetley (GGG in joke)

Steve M said...

It's the same artist (Bush) as on the first two Derby Man books Gary, and this cover matches how the Derby Man dresses in this story - in fact the other two characters match their descriptions too. I know what you mean though as I prefer how he was painted on the first two.

The next six books see a change of publisher from Dell to Bantam, and with that a new cover artist and cover style.

The some years after the paperbacks come the final two hardbacks which have yet another publisher and cover artist.