Saturday, 31 October 2009

The Trailsman #336

as by Jon Sharpe

Signet, October 2009

After Fargo takes a job protecting a stagecoach, he ends up facedown in the dirt. When he comes to, a man is dead, the money is stolen, and an entire town blames Fargo. But a beautiful backwoods nurse knows Fargo was drugged, and Fargo suspects that someone set him up for a fall. Now he has to find out who’s trying to heap shame on his good name – and pay back the favor with hot lead.

Jon Sharpe fills this book with an excellent set of characters, many of whom Fargo doesn’t know whether he can trust – after all most of the town want to hang him for something he wasn’t responsible for. There are evil outlaws, a man suffering through guilt, a lawman who can’t prove his suspicions, those of both sexes driven by greed, the innocent caught up in events out of their control, and, the expected, handful of sensual women. Many of these people are out to double-cross each other too. Just a few of these well-drawn characters would be enough to hold a readers attention, but this amount means they take a firm grip and won’t let go until you find out how everything is resolved.

Jon Sharpe writes this book in an easy to read style, constantly switching from one character to another, gradually unveiling who is behind what, bringing a number of them together for a suspenseful final showdown. There’s not as much gunplay as in some Trailsman books but the devious lives of the many characters more than makes up for this. Even when the author reveals the bad guys, and their plans, you’re never quite sure how the story will finish.

I’m sure this book will please all Trailsman fans, and those who just dip into the series from time to time.


Mister Roy said...

I have this in my pile, looking forward to it.

Steve M said...

You'll have to let us know who you think the author is...I have my ideas.

Quarry said...

Your description of the story sounds very Ed Gorman-like. Is he your most likely suspect Steve?

Steve M said...

Yeap. :)

Craig Clarke said...

Sounds like another good Trailsman offering.

Mister Roy said...

Really enjoyed this. An excellent character-driven, mystery-tinged western. Some real moments of jeapordy too. Gorman gets my vote.