Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Longarm #374

As by Tabor Evans
Jove, January 2010

When Deputy U.S. Marshal Custis Long trails a gang of murdering outlaws into the desert, he finds the stinging sandstorms worse than any hail of lead. And after one storm blows over, Longarm finds himself in the middle of an abandoned town that was previously hidden under the sand.

Soon he discovers the town isn’t the only thing that was buried. A lovely lady with a treasure chest of her own has braved the elements to find some hidden loot. Funny thing about treasure, though – it draws hard cases like corpses draw buzzards. And as the town becomes repopulated with armed men, the sands of time may be running out for Longarm…

This book opens with a violent gunfight that sees Longarm following those outlaws who escape into the desert. The author (in this case James Reasoner) describes the environment of the desert and the sandstorms so well you can feel the heat and the grit of the sand. Longarm has to fight for his life, not only against outlaws but also the ferocity of Mother Nature too.

James has created some fascinating characters in this story, particularly Haygood McCready and Melinda Kelly, the latter due to the fact you are never quite sure if she’ll turn on, and try to kill, Longarm at any time, which adds an element of suspense to the story.

The book is fast moving and takes place over a short period of time – days rather than weeks – and is filled with action and treachery as companions turn on one another once the treasure is discovered.

All in all, this is an excellent entry into the long-running Longarm series and one that fans of James Reasoner’s work should not miss.

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