Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Trailsman #5

as by Jon Sharpe
Signet, February 1981

When a pistol-packing blonde beauty pegged Skye Fargo, the Trailsman, as a hired gunslinger out to get her uncle’s foreman, it was draw first and ask questions later. Yet by the time he’d tamed the gorgeous young spitfire enough to convince her she was wrong, Fargo was trapped into hunting down the desperadoes who were killing her uncle’s men and stealing his cargo from the riverboats.

Lured on by the loving promise of double pleasure from the gloriously golden Amber and her voluptuous, raven-haired sister, April, Fargo had no choice but to ride a river of treachery, where every bend hid another bushwhacker thirsting for his blood…

Jon Sharpe throws so many questions at the reader that it is almost impossible to put this book down until discovering the answers, many of which will only be found out at the end.

The author (who I believe is series originator Jon Messman) places suspicion on just about every character in the book, as to who is behind the plot to put Sam Fuller out of business. And when you think you’re getting close to working it out the writer slips another twist into the tale to keep you guessing.

It’s also interesting to see the differences in this early entry in the series and the books being published today; for instance it isn’t mentioned that Fargo wears buckskins, the Ovaro is referred to as the pinto nearly all the time, and all the women seem to be there just for Fargo’s pleasure.

So in conclusion this is a well written, tough, fast moving, action filled book that should provide gripping reading for all Trailsman fans.


Craig Clarke said...

I recently read #3 Mountain Man Kill and was surprised at the stronger focus on the sex, to its detriment as a whole in my opinion. It seems that the authors now are more interested in giving a gripping Western.

Thinking again, I'm not sure that one approach is actually "better" than the other, but it's certainly interesting that series entries are so different.

Katt said...

Some of the original adult westerns way back when were funded by Playboy Enterprises.
I tend to think of them as naughty books that happened to be westerns.

Nowadays, there are many quality writers who write under pen names doing such books as the TRAILSMAN and LONGARM. Those writers are more interested in telling a story and because they have to sex scenes they weave that into the story.

From most of the western readers that I know, they prefer westerns without the sex in them.

Steve M said...

The high sex content was a product of it's time - along with that in the other three "Big Series" and many other adult western series that appeared at that time.

These days the amount of sex has been cut dramatically - in fact sometimes it only last for a paragraph or two - and the books don't contain anymore than other westerns that aren't billed as adult.