Sunday, 19 October 2008

The Outlaw and the Lady

 as by Chap O’Keefe
A Black Horse Western from Hale, 1994

Tod Larraby was a deadly shot, an ex-Confederate guerrilla with a reputation to match. But when he was tricked into shooting a crooked gambler in a Colorado mining town, a dubious price was set for his freedom. Lord Buckhampton, a bull-headed British capitalist with investments in the state, needed Larraby to guide him to his delinquent son, who’d vanished into the wildest parts of the Rockies with a half-breed whore from a Leadville bordello.

Against Larraby’s advice, Buckhampton insisted they take along his second wife Julia. But would Tod be able to complete his task and win his liberty faced as he was with death and deception?

Chap O’Keefe, really author Keith Chapman, has created some excellent characters in this book, Lord Buckhampton really comes across as a pompous man who you will be hoping will get his comeuppance soon after you meet him.

The book moves quickly from beginning to end, and has many action packed scenes. Throughout the tale there is a growing attraction between Tod and Julia but this can’t possibly become anything more than that can it?

There are plenty of surprises along the way too, some of the characters not quite being who they say they are, and a savage gang of outlaws add further hardship to the task of finding Buckhampton’s son.

For once we have a Black Horse Western with a cover that almost matches a scene within the story.

Definitely worth picking up a copy, if you can find one.

4 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

I very much enjoyed this one myself. And I agree on the cover image. I know Keith browses this blog so perhaps he'll comment on the cover.

Steve M said...

Hopefully Keith will have some comments to add.

Ray said...

Yes, Keith does get some good covers like 'The Gunman and the Actress'. His books are worth hunting down.

Chap O'Keefe said...

What can I add?

I'm sure most authors have opinions of reviews of their work, but often it isn't seen as being "the done thing" to respond.

The only time I would do so is if a reviewer made damaging statements or conclusions and unfairly neglected to give the evidence from the work itself that he or she thought justified them. That isn't constructive and can't help anyone.

This review sounds (from my biased position!) a very fair one of a story I'd almost forgotten. It was my fourth BHW and I'm currently midway through writing my twenty-third. My thanks to Steve, Gary (archavist) and Ray for their kind words.

The book does indeed get a boost from the very fine cover by Prieto Muriana at the height of his considerable powers.

Keith