Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Trailsman #334

as by Jon Sharpe

Signet, August 2009

When Skye Fargo comes across a dead young man near the town of Cawthorne, Colorado, he figures he’ll do the right thing and take the body to town for burial. But he learns soon enough that lately dying has been real easy to do in Cawthorne. Someone in town has developed a taste for murder – and the Trailsman might just be the next course.

Finding the dead man is just the start of Fargo’s problems, seems he knows Cawthorne’s lawman too, and it’s this Sheriff that tries to persuade the Trailsman to help him find the killer. Fargo wants none of this, just wants to ride on, but the author (Ed Gorman) soon has Fargo facing three tearful women who ask for his help in tracking down the killer, and Fargo soon finds himself saying yes.

This is when the book turns into a detective novel as Skye Fargo tries his best to work like a Pinkerton agent. And this is the type of storyline that this particular author writes so well. He soon has Fargo struggling to unravel a web of lies as his list of suspects grows, and two more murders come to light. Seems the three dead men may have held up a stagecoach just before their deaths.

Ed Gorman packs the story with great characters, most that could have something to do with the murders and I soon had my choice for the guilty person – which changed and then changed back again. But I should have known better than to try and work out one of this writer’s plots as the story worked swiftly through twists and turns, half-truths and misdirection. Of course the killer wasn’t who I thought, in fact came as a welcome surprise.

For fans of Ed Gorman and/or The Trailsman, make sure you don’t miss this one.

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