Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Medicine Hat

by David Walks-As-Bear
Whiskey Creek Press, 2009

Shamus Ghillie is a half-Choctaw-half-Irish former elite Confederate soldier, who is, likewise, a man of the wild and untamed west. He’s imbued with rare, and unusual, skills as a hunter of both animals and…men. It is this man, and his unique talents that President Grant wants to secretly enlist to deal with trouble along the boundary of the newly formed nation of Canada, just north of the Montana Territory.

But, men like Ghillie don’t come easily, and, if they come at all…they don’t come cheap. Shamus distrusts government – any government – but the money’s good, and he has a kid sister to consider. Still, truth be told…he would’ve taken on this task to gain justice for the Blackfeet – free of charge – had they not offered a fee. So, he becomes the nation’s first unofficial, yet official, spy with the U.S. Secret Service.

The full title of this book is Shamus Ghillie U.S. Secret Service in Medicine Hat. It’s billed as the first in a series – and I’ve been told there will definitely be two more at least – and is also David Walks-As-Bear’s first western.

The opening scene is full of tension – even though you know the assassination can’t take place – and it’s here that the character of Ghillie grabs the readers attention, making you want to read more about him. As you do a fascinating tale unfolds, full of well-drawn characters, such as Lieutenant Johnson, a man who will ride with Ghillie through much of the book, a man who will struggle to understand, and trust, Ghillie.

The story moves fast and is told in a very easy to read style. David Walks-As-Bear slips in a number of lesser-known historical facts, such as the Indian story of the Canadian town of Seven Persons. There are also a number of real people too, including President Grant and Wild Bill Hickok – the latter is in the book only briefly and reveals a bit about Ghillie’s past.

All through the book the reader begins to believe they know who Ghillie is, but right at the end David Walks-As-Bear slips in a twist making the reader begin to wonder all over again, and hopefully makes the reader want to read the next book in the series to learn more about Shamus Ghillie and the horse he rides… I for one will be eagerly waiting for the next book.

If you’d like to find out more about David Walks-As-Bear, and his books, then you can by visiting his website here.


Jo Walpole said...

Sounds intriguing. I notice it's a Whiskey Creek Press book. They put out a lot of good stories - they published two of mine, what can I say? ;-) Nice to see you reviewing an e-book - so much more convenient and cheaper to buy than a paper version.

P Specialist said...

This book looks interesting, where can I get one?