Shawnee Lanigan, half-breed man-hunter, accepts a commission from a grieving grandfather to track down and bring to justice Marsh Kennebec, the murderer of his daughter and her husband. The old man’s grandson, traumatized by the loss of his parents, has been unable to weep or mourn the loss.
Lanigan sets out to track down Kennebec but must repeatedly fight for his life against both outlaws and corrupt lawmen who try to bar his path. After tracking the killer to his hiding place, he finds himself outnumbered, outgunned and standing trial for his life before a jury of killers, fugitives and thieves. If convicted, he will hang. If found innocent, he must fight a duel to the death.
Ronald Martin Wade presents his readers with a very easy to read book filled with incident and well created characters. The book begins with a prologue, which tells the back-story of Lanigan and includes a well-described and horrific death, which painted a very gruesome picture in my minds eye.
During the prologue the author draws attention to the fact that Lanigan is a half-breed and his reaction to derogatory comments about his bloodline. This seemed to be setting us up for more of the same during the story yet, other than in one confrontation, this wasn’t really mentioned again.
Settings and characters are beautifully portrayed as are the numerous action scenes, be they fistfights, knife fights or gunfights.
What seems to be a fairly straightforward, traditional, western tale takes a turn towards a darker theme during the trial making for a memorable ending.
It seems Lanigan is set to be a series character as a second book, Lanigan and the She-Wolf, is scheduled for a July 09 release.
Lanigan and the Silent Mourner is due to be published on February 27th 2009, and noting that many Black Horse Westerns are selling out in a matter of days, it maybe wise to get your order in early.