Friday, 30 October 2009

The Staked Plains

as by Billy Moore
A Black Horse Western from Hale, October 2009

When buffalo-hide hunter, Quentin McLeod, rescues Carlotta Mainord from Comanche raiders, their struggle is still far from over. They must face further hostility from the Indians, flash floods and white brigands, only to find themselves in even greater danger when they arrive in the apparent safety of New Mexico.

Carlotta Mainord is attacked and left helpless in a coma and McLeod is blamed and accused of being a Comanchero. Can he convince the hanging jury of his innocence and will he escape the lynch mob in time?

The story begins in the middle of McLeod’s rescue of Carlotta and provides some excellent action sequences, as does the subsequent flight for freedom. During this Billy Moore spends time fleshing out his two main characters’ back story and develops the growing attraction between them – Carlotta at first mistrusting McLeod’s motives: after all he was a Galvanized Yankee!

Once McLeod finds himself held prisoner by the US Army, the story changes pace a little and becomes a war of words in a fascinating and suspenseful trial. Billy Moore introduces two real characters here that help with McLeod’s defence, these being Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving.

Billy Moore has also come up with a wonderfully evil bad guy, Ian Richards, who seems one step ahead of everyone, even though he’s seen to be slowing slipping into the grip of craziness.

The book finishes with a frantic escape bid that ends in a dramatic, and memorable, scene.

I don’t know anything about Billy Moore – even if this is the authors real name or a pseudonym – and it looks like The Staked Plains is his first Black Horse Western. On the strength of this book I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more.

For those interested in cover art this book features a painting by Tony Masero (he who painted the majority of the covers for George G. Gilman’s westerns in the UK).

The Staked Plains has its official release on October 30th, and I’d suggest getting your order in soon, before it sells out.

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