Monday, 29 June 2009

Lanigan and the She-Wolf

by Ronald Martin Wade
A Black Horse Western from Hale, June 2009

A surprisingly composed father hires Shawnee Lanigan to track down the bank robbers who abducted his 18-year-old daughter, Sara Beth. Later, Lanigan learns the gang is all female and is led by the ruthless ‘La Loba’. Despite grave misgivings, he tracks the gang to a hideout in the west Texas mountains. There, he is staggered to learn the real reason for the girl’s kidnapping.

After reporting his failure to rescue the girl, Lanigan takes a job supervising security for a mining operation. Then he unveils a plot and must ultimately face a vengeful mob. He knows that not all of them can make it out alive.

This, the second BHW in Ronald Martin Wades’ series about Shawnee Lanigan, is a little shorter than the book that introduced us to the half-breed man-hunter. Like that first book it is a fast flowing, action packed read filled with many fascinating characters, such as ‘La Loba’ herself and her gang of man hating women. Wade often refers to them as “bull dykes” and the description fits them well, although I’m not sure this term was used before the 1920s, still little things like that didn’t stop me from enjoying this book.

Once the first part of the story closes with Lanigan’s failure to return the kidnapped girl to her father and the second part begins you could easily be mistaken in thinking what you have here is two short stories held together by Lanigan’s involvement, but it isn’t long before a couple of twists are thrown in that link the two stories. I particularly liked the part where lawmen, a ranger, Lanigan and those just seeking financial reward argue over the fate of their prisoners.

Lanigan isn’t portrayed as a quick thinking, one jump ahead of everyone else, type of hero: he makes mistakes, puts himself in dangerous situations that could have been avoided, and this time let’s someone see behind the tough exterior he tries to present to other people.

Ronald Martin Wade wraps up his plotlines satisfactory and then throws in a savage sting-in-the-tail that leaves Lanigan speechless.

So far there hasn’t been any other Lanigan books announced but I’m hoping he will return soon.

Lanigan and the She-Wolf is officially released tomorrow (June 30th), but is already for sale from many internet booksellers.

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