Monday, 30 November 2009

Revenge by Fire

as by Bill Williams
A Black Horse Western from Hale, November 2009

Steve Ross has been forced to give up the struggle to keep his small ranch going during Arizona’s worst drought in living memory. He intends to leave town in the morning, but events result in him being given an unusual ultimatum.

He must face the prospect of hanging for killing a man, or becoming the Deputy Marshal of Craigy Plains. Ross has never owed or fired a pistol, but following his appointment as a lawman he is taught how to handle a weapon by an old gunfighter. His prowess with a gun is soon given a severe test.

He is drawn into tragic events that put his own life in the greatest danger.

Although Steve Ross is the person who this story revolves around, Bill Williams spends as much time fleshing out the many other characters that fill this book. Although you don’t realise at first all these people will play important parts in bringing the many, seemingly, unrelated threads together by the end.

Bill Williams writes well and is very readable. He drops little hints as to what is going on and cleverly uses misdirection a couple of time to make you wonder as to just who has been killed. There is plenty of action but it’s Bill William’s character studies, their motives, the guessing of who is double-crossing whom and why, will Ross get back with Stephanie, and will any of them be alive at the end, kept me reading.

The final major showdown takes place a few chapters before the end, everyone’s true identities and fates resolved; or so you think, for Bill Williams continues the stories of those left alive, telling what happens to them, ties up the few remain loose threads, and has a few more tragic surprises waiting for his readers.

From what I can tell this is Bill Williams’ ninth BHW and having now read my first book by him I am keen to try more of his work.

Revenge by Fire is officially released today.


Laurie said...

Great review - thanks!

Rebecca said...

Just stopped by your blog, and I really like it! I can see there are a ton of reviews here. Do you review all kinds of Western fiction or those just for certain age groups?

Steve M said...

Glad you like the blog Rebecca. I read, and review, all kinds of westerns, from traditional to adult and occasionally those written for the children's market - you'll find examples of all here. Hope you enjoy investigating further.