All Sheriff Cole Masters wants is to raise a family with the woman he loves. However, upholding the law in an era when gunfire speaks louder than words can be a risky business. Cole makes an arrest for the brutal murder of a saloon girl but the killer is the son of a wealthy rancher and it is clear the old man will do anything to see his son set free. Soon the peace of the small town is shattered with deadly force and Cole finds himself a lawman on the run for murder. The rancher wants Masters dead and the two deadly gunmen on his trail are sure they can do it. Soon blood will run as Cole Masters attempts to reclaim his tarnished star.
The Tarnished Star is the first BHW from Jack Martin and what a debut it is! Martin starts his book after the murder so the reader is immersed straight into the action, sharing Sheriff Master’s frustrations and doubts. The story develops at great speed, and soon Masters has been framed and finds himself on the run, hunted by two well-drawn trackers, Boyd and Quill.
In fact Jack Martin’s characters are all well portrayed in his smooth flowing, fast moving plot, that is filled with exciting action sequences that seem to get more violent as the book gallops to its final showdown. The reason each fight seems more savage than the last could be that Martin describes them in more graphic detail with each exchange of bullets.
Overall the book fits the mould of a traditional western whose hero isn’t perfect, struggles to decided just how to deal with the situation he finds himself in, and doesn’t always make the best choices in these matters either, as he attempts to uphold the law and regain his badge. The story is told in hard-hitting prose that is very easy to read and entertains extremely well. With this book Jack Martin (real name Gary Dobbs) proves he’s a writer worth keeping an eye on.
This book has a publication date of June 30th 2009, but is available now. Don’t wait too long to order your copy as it’s selling out fast.