Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Longarm #26

as by Tabor Evans

Jove, November 1980

At Dragon Bluff, rival archaeologists warred for a cache of priceless dinosaur fossils…angry Arapahos rose up to protect their land and its riches…and hired guns were primed and ready, for sale to the highest bidder.

Longarm rides into the “Great Dinosaur War” to put an end to the violence – and enjoy the favours of a fiery teamster who claimed to be more woman than any man could handle!

The plot of the book makes a welcome change from fortune hunters digging up Indian lands for gold, even though much of the story follows a similar pattern to many of the westerns that use that theme. Due to the hunt being for dinosaur remains means the author could add a lot of fascinating information about them, and it’s one of these beliefs that the archaeologists are racing to prove is true, that provides the conflict between the rival groups of bone hunters.

The author (William C. Knott writing as Tabor Evans) includes some great character studies, such as the teamsters, the women that all seem eager to offer themselves to Longarm and also lead to many of his problems, the Indians, a Reverend and his flock, but it’s the archaeologists themselves who prove the most entertaining with their eccentric ways, particularly when the start bickering at each other.

There’s loads of action and nail-biting races against time – which a couple of times seemed a bit to impossible to win but were won – and a truly great ending that painted some very vivid images in my minds eye.


James Reasoner said...

This is one of my favorites among the early books of the series. Knott did a fine job on it.

Chris said...

Wow, a dinosaur Western! This one sounds good. Would that I could find the time to read it. Great review as always.

LoganBruin said...

I remember this one fondly! I almost didn't read it because, as an archaeologist, I thought, "They're paleontologists, not archaeologists," but I persevered and it was a lot of fun.

Steve M said...

There are a few other westerns around that have simple themes for their plots. I really must read one or two more.