Jove, October 2009
(Giant Edition #27)
A violent storm’s brewing in Indianola, but Custis Long isn’t paying much mind. Instead, he’s hoping to finally nab a hard case he’s been chasing. And Longarm has other, more pleasurable plans with an old friend – the lusty, busty heiress Jessica Starbuck…
Meanwhile, the squall turns into a deadly flood – and an armed French dandy manages to kidnap Jessica for ransom. Now Longarm will have to keep his head above water if he wants to save his life – and a heiress’s hide…
This is the fourth giant edition to pitch Longarm against a new cartel, and even though this book is a self-contained story it does mention events of the previous three books, and brings all the carried over plotlines to a conclusion, so it may be an idea to read the earlier books first: Longarm and the Outlaw Empress, Longarm and the Golden Eagle Shoot-Out, and Longarm and the Valley of Skulls.
Like the other three mentioned giant editions this one also sees Longarm teaming up with stars of other western series, in this case the main ones being Jessica Starbuck and Ki – there is a third well know western star who appears near the end but I’ll leave you to find out who that is yourselves. Of course Jessie and Ki have appeared in a number of Longarm giants, the first 10 in fact, plus the first of those mentioned above.
Like the others in this arc of giants the man behind the Tabor Evans pseudonym is James Reasoner. James has written an excellent story here that I found very difficult to put down. The reasons for Jessie’s kidnapping are kept secret until near the end but James is a master at revealing little hints that keep you reading until you find out the answer, and I must say I didn’t work it out before James wanted me to know.
As this book is part of an adult series there is the usual quota of sex, and you may be forgiven thinking there’s a lot of it at the beginning, but once each main character has indulged in this particular pleasure, that’s pretty much it, and the book picks up speed and before long it’s racing along like a runaway horse.
There are many exciting gunfights, including one involving a cannon, but, for me, I think some of the best scenes are during the destruction of Indianola. James’ prose being extremely visual in putting over the horrors that Mother Nature can inflict on the world and those unfortunate to be caught up in it.
As I’ve already said the story does conclude with bringing down the new cartel – and does so in a terrific violent showdown - but James finishes the book with a final line that will leave you wondering what lies in store for Deputy U.S. Marshal Custis Long in the future.