Killer Jimmy Tucker wanted to die.
‘Do it now, Gant,’ he begged the stone-faced lawman. ‘Don’t let ‘em swing me off their gallows. Just shoot me now!’
He was pleading with the wrong man. The Marshals’ Manual was Gant’s bible.
‘The law says you’re to hang, Tucker,’ he pronounced, ‘and I’ll see that you do it.’
‘You ain’t human, Gant!’
Gant nodded. Maybe Tucker was half-right but he’d still swing. The next badman to receive mercy from Marshal Gant would be the first.
Marshal Gant makes for an excellent hero, a proud man who backs down from no one, a man who lives to the letter of the law. A man who is aiming to retire after seeing Tucker hang. But there’s history there too, ghosts from the past that need setting to rest. And then there’s the possibility that Gant’s law could be wrong…
Paul Wheelahan, writing as Dempsey Clay, has produced a terrific study in human character in Gant. The Marshal isn’t an easy man to like yet you’ll soon be swept up in the story, wanting to know how Gant will face the challenges to his beliefs – not all of them can be tackled with brute force.
The book moves forward at a cracking pace, filled with action and tough dialogue. Although the end offers no surprises it’s an exciting read getting there.
Sweep of Fury was officially released on October 30th, and I’d suggest grabbing a copy before it sells out – something Black Horse Westerns do more often that not these days.