Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Utah Hit

as by Charles Langley Hayes
A Black Horse Western from Hale, 1995

Butch Cassidy had become the most wanted outlaw in the whole West. The governors of four states wanted his hide. But he and his Wild Bunch are holed up in a remote part of Utah: Robbers Roost, a natural fortress with armed guards overlooking the few limited entry passes, unapproachable, unassailable. So the marshal, sent by the governors, figured there was only one way to handle Cassidy - hire a long-shooting hit-man - then find some bait to lure the outlaw out of his sanctuary...

Charles Langley Hayes (really author B.J. Holmes) provides his readers with a book that begins with a train robbery then builds gently, and grippingly, to its exciting conclusion. Amoungst the action there are plenty of humourous moments too and the characters - both fictional and real - are presented well.

I found Cassidy’s fascination with an archaeological dig - and Sundance’s dismissal of it - made for some of the most entertaining reading of the story.

And does the book offer us another take on what happened to Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? Well that’s something you’ll have to find out for yourselves. All I can say is the book comes to a satisfying ending.

B.J. Holmes writing as Charles Langley Hayes - or indeed under any of his other pseudonyms - is fast becoming one of my favourite western authors, and I’d suggest going to the trouble to find his books will be well worth your time.

4 comments:

Joanne Walpole said...

I'm not a fan of fiction based on actual but you've interested me in the author and I'll look out for him.

Chap O'Keefe said...

B. J. Holmes did have a very informative website with a link from Black Horse Extra. It no longer seems to be in existence there. Does anyone know if it has a new URL ?

ARCHAVIST said...

I love B J too - he's a truly excellent writer. Thanks for revealing another of his pen names. Any more?

Steve M said...

Joanne - I've yet to read a book by B.J. I've not enjoyed.

Keith - I can't find that website either. I got taken to an "Orange" page and they seem to be having problems at the moment so that may have something to do with it. Let's hope so.

Gary - B.J. wrote BHW under the following names that I know of: B.J. Holmes (26 books), Charles Langley Hayes (4 books), Ethan Wall (6 books), Jack Darby (1 book), and Sean Kennedy (1 book).