Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Badge #4

as by Bill Reno
Bantam, April 1988

Powder River’s new marshal is shot in the back by a bushwhacker when he tries to put a stop to the bloody feud going on between the town’s two biggest ranchers: John Brunner’s Diamond B and Rake McCanna’s Box M. Nobody can name the culprit but, whoever he is, he’s hell-bent to get a full-scale range war started. Time to bring in Will Iron – a lawman who lives upto his name, as fast with a gun as he is with his rock-hard fists.

When the son of Rake McCanna is shot dead, and the son of John Brunner is found stabbed in a deep gully, tempers are set to explode as each rancher prepares for war. Can Iron track down the killer and put an end to the bloodshed before Powder River becomes a battleground?

Bill Reno (really author Lew A. Lacy) believes in putting his heroes into difficult situations, and in Powder River, not only does Iron have to try to stop a war erupting, he finds the problem is made more difficult after discovering that one of the feuding sides is his father and brothers, making him question his loyalty to family or the law. Not only this, but Iron finds himself falling for the beautiful Abby, who may or may-not be hiding some secrets, whilst the equally attractive Vanessa competes for his attention.

The book is filled with action-packed confrontations that will have the reader wondering how Iron can possibly bring them to peaceful conclusions, and then the murders happen and it seems that Iron has an impossible situation to control.

As events finally seem to be leading to a satisfying ending for Iron and the people of Powder River, Reno brings his hero down to earth – hard! Iron finds himself with the toughest decision of his life that will tear him apart emotionally, thus providing a powerful ending to this gripping read.

Each Badge book is about different characters – although two or three of them do appear in more than one book – the series being linked by each story being about a man who wears a badge.

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