Saturday, 26 September 2009

Misfit Lil Robs the Bank

as by Chap O’keefe
A Black Horse Western from Hale, September 2009

Misfit Lil’s misalliance with the reckless Texan cowboy Luck M’Cline began while her true friend, mature frontiersman Jackson Farraday, was away in the Henry Mountains. Lil’s crackshot skills saved M’Cline from the claws of a wounded man hating cougar but her actions earned her the enmity of M’Cline’s former sweetheart, Virginia Whitpath. An unladylike fighting showdown with Virginia on Main Street, plus shooting pranks in a saloon with M’Cline, put Lil at the mercy of another arrival. Mesmerist Dr Francois Guiscard, late of a Paris hospital infamous for the experimental treatment of madwomen, was entrusted with curing Lil of her behaviour problems.

Lil had wanted only fun. Could she regain her freedom when Dr Guiscard had devilish plans to capitalize on her unique abilities?

Chap O’keefe (Keith Chapman) pushes the boundaries of the traditional western in this, the sixth Misfit Lil story to be published by Hale. As expected the book moves forward at tremendous speed and sees Lil attempting to bring down Guiscard without the help of her hero Jackson Farraday. There’s plenty of action that includes a well- written catfight between Lil and Virginia.

There are two elements to the plot that provide extra interest, that move the story away from the traditional western tale. The first is the art of hypnotism, and Keith Chapman includes some fascinating facts about the history of the mesmerist. The second is the use of drugs to remove resistance and thus enable rape.

And what of Lil’s relationship with M’Cline? Sorry I’m not going to reveal how that ends – if indeed it does – but will say that the story ends with an exciting showdown in a setting that painted vivid imagery in my mind, and brought to mind those old horror films from Hammer.

So a western that blends the traditional with more challenging subject matter in a well paced plot that once more proves the Misfit Lil series is definitely worth reading.

Misfit Lil Robs the Bank is officially published on September 30th, but is available now from Internet booksellers, and as Chap O’Keefe westerns usually sell-out quickly, I’d suggest you order your copy as soon as possible.

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