Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Liberty and a Law Badge

as by Chap O’Keefe
A Black Horse Extra book, January 2010

Crazy Bob McGill played Peeping Tom at Devil’s Lake and his old heart was pierced. The young woman Sheriff Dan Vickers had brought to share the isolation of his fishing retreat was McGill’s sweet daughter, Liberty. What McGill didn’t learn was that Liberty had been blackmailed. Her self-sacrifice was to preserve the dubious security of marriage to a spineless rancher Tom Tolliver, caught changing a cattle brand with a running-iron.

Meanwhile, Joshua Dillard, ex-Pinkerton agent and range detective, came to Montana working undercover for Vickers’ boss, cattle baron Barnaby Lant. He quickly clashed with Vickers’ deputies, supposed allies, and Vickers’ wife Sophie, on her own vengeance trail.

Then lynching and gunplay muddied the picture. Could Joshua bring justice to the range and save Liberty?

This is Chap O’Keefe’s 9th Joshua Dillard book, the previous eight being published by Hale under their Black Horse Western line, and the second book the author has published as a Black Horse Extra book, the first being Misfit Lil’ Cheats the Hangrope.

From the very beginning this book moves at speed and then races along like a runaway train heading for a collision and destruction. As Chap O’Keefe introduces more and more characters, so the plot deepens through twists and turns, and all sides are brought together for a final, exciting, clash of wits, guns and knives.

Chap O’Keefe’s writing style is very readable and soon sucks you into the plot making this book very difficult to put down. There are plenty of strong male characters and a couple of memorable women, namely Liberty and Sophie, who take two of the leading roles in this tale. And if it’s action you want, this story is brimming with it.

Liberty and a Law Badge can be bought directly from the publishers here. Fans of Chap O’Keefe’s work (real name Keith Chapman) – in particular those who follow his Joshua Dillard series – will be pleased to know that the end of this month also sees the official release of the eighth Dillard book, published as a Black Horse Western by Hale, titled Faith and a Fast Gun; this should be available from all the usual Internet book sellers now.


Chap O'Keefe said...

"Should be available from all the usual internet book sellers now..." Alas, not so with any of the January BHW titles from Hale, including Faith and a Fast Gun.

The Book Depository, who offer the best deal for non-UK readers with their free worldwide delivery deal, are not listing the books. Meanwhile, Amazon UK are saying "Not in stock; order now and we'll deliver when available."

I mentioned some of this to the Hale sales assistant, Maddy Price, and Hale publicist, Nikki Edwards, on January 11. Maddy replied that she hoped the situation would be "rectified very soon". Today another Hale author writes, "By the way, I emailed Maddy Price today for some information and was told she had left."

Meanwhile, Liberty and a Law Badge is available only through the Lulu Marketplace at this stage. "Christmas" has been blamed for the delay in furthering distribution.

The opening chapters of both books can be read at http://chapokeefe.webs.com/bhelib

The seventh Joshua Dillard book, Blast to Oblivion, was reissued this month in large-print paperback by Ulverscroft in the Linford Western Library. But that, too, seems hard to come by, other than through the Ulverscroft websites. Amazon UK say, "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."

Blast was a reworking of the plot of the Sherlock Holmes novel The Valley of Fear, which I wrote about in the Black Horse Extra last March (http://blackhorsewesterns.com/bhe13 )

The availability issue is again becoming very frustrating for western followers, Steve. I hope your helpful reviews of the books are not going to waste.

Laurie said...

I've always found that to be a problem in trying to get BHW books in the US, not to mention the prohibitive price. Yes, they're hardbacks, but many readers in these times are choosing to get a mass market paperback for half the price.

I enjoyed Liberty and a Law Badge and how O'Keefe handled the issue of how women were viewed in the 19th century.

Chap O'Keefe said...

Reviews don't often mention book pricing, but Laurie has a good point. With the BHE Books paperbacks, the price has been pared to the barest minimum allowed by the print and distribution set-up. In my opinion that's still not cheap, but for readers in the US the $15 price is $5 to $8 less than what is asked for many hardcover BHWs or a large-print western in softcover.

That said, Amazon.com are currently offering the popular BHW Misfit Lil Robs the Bank reduced to $15.60. Buy while it lasts!

Randy Johnson said...

I enjoyed this one. I'll keep supporting your paperback efforts with the hope that they catch on. I think they are worth the price, but others may not wish to try them.