Friday, 24 October 2008

The Trailsman #317

MOUNTAIN MYSTERY
as by Jon Sharpe
Signet, March 2008

When young Mabel Landry needs a good man to find her brother – who disappeared in an unexplored region of the Rocky Mountains – Skye Fargo is more than happy to take the job. But he's not so happy when mule-stubborn Mabel follows him, because dying in the wilds is much easier than living there. Saddled with the sassy lass, the Trailsman must carve a bloody trail through danger and deception if either of them is going to come back alive.

Jon Sharpe (this time David Robbins writing behind this pseudonym) has really come up with a winner here. Superb characterization – especially that of Mabel – will have the reader sharing the feelings of frustration, anger and hate, along with Fargo.

Mabel must be one of the most infuriating females written into a Trailsman book for a long time, just read her reactions to the appearance of a bear, and the hairbrush incident, to confirm my opinion. But even after wanting to see her get a good kick up the backside you'll find yourself warming to her.

The main villain of the story, Skagg, is another extremely well drawn character, one you'll be soon urging Fargo to deal with.

And what of the mystery element of the plot? That had me guessing, just what was it the Indians knew about that lead to so much brutality and death?

David Robbins masterfully weaves all these threads together in a gripping tale that is hard to put down, springing some horrific and savage surprises along the way, before everything comes to a violent conclusion.

4 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

This is without a doubt the best western based blog on the net - I visit daily and hope you will one day try that genre overview.

Steve M said...

Thanks for the kind and encouraging words Gary. I have a few ideas for an overview...just have to find the time to write it.

Craig Clarke said...

I wanted to try out a David Robbins Trailsman, so I came to your archive. Thanks for the recommendation. I just added this one to a larger order. :)

Steve M said...

If you like David Robbins books, such as his Wilderness series and his Ralph Compton work, then I'm sure you'll enjoy his Trailsman entries. He's written over 70 Trailsman books.