Saturday, 13 December 2008

Just Breathin' Hate

as by Dempsey Clay
A Black Horse Western from Hale, December 2008

When the Law went loco and charged him with killing his wife, innocent Jack Fallon has two choices only – run or hang.

So he ran – to a strange lost valley shut off from the world and ruled by a cult of holy men who would prove more lethal than any posse could ever be.

Paul Wheelahan, the man behind the Dempsey Clay pseudonym, has been writing westerns since the 1960’s and must have had around 1000 stories published. This experience shows in the superb pacing of Just Breathin’ Hate, a book that hooks the reader right from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the end.

The book opens with Fallon being hunted by a posse, you don’t know why at this point and as the plot is revealed more questions are added, such as who really killed Fallon’s wife and who sawed through the branch that snapped thus saving Fallon from hanging.

Although the regular western reader will have met all the characters before in various guises they do interact well and hold your attention. The growing bond between Fallon and Rebecca being particularly strong and a friendship that will have you wondering at the outcome as one of the Brethren cannot get involved with an Outsider can she? Especially as she is lined up to be the third wife of the Deacon.

There are plenty of battles of wills between members of their own sides and these add to the almost maniacal obsession of lawman St George to hunt down and kill Fallon.

Nearly all of the violent confrontations in the first two thirds of the book are settled with fists, but for those who prefer their westerns to be filled with gun action then the final part of the story should provide more than enough of this as it is packed with a lengthy gunfight as the lawmen attempt to wipe out the Brethren stronghold.

Just Breathin Hate will be published on December 31st so if you’re interested in getting hold of a copy of this book then I suggest you get your order in as soon as possible due to the tendency for Hale's BHW to sell out fast.Those of you who may wish to read more about Paul Wheelahan can find an extensive interview here

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