as by Ralph Hayes
A Black Horse Western from Hale, February 2010
When Billy Clanton and his friends are murdered in Tombstone by the town marshal and his deputies, the growing tension between the local authorities and the ranchers spirals out of control.
The once sleepy frontier town is mired in hatred, with bad blood and scores to settle on both sides. Families are torn asunder as the violence rages on. Will there ever be peace in Tombstone? Or will peace only come when one side reigns victorious?
It’s not often that I’ve read a Black Horse Western that tells the story of real events. Yes some use them as background or as a small part in a mostly fictional tale, but this one is different, no fictional hero, just people who really lived.
The book begins just after the shootout at the O.K. Corral – in fact these events are recalled latter in the story, covering just a couple of paragraphs. Ralph Hayes relates the continuing feud between the Earp’s and Ike Clanton. After the killing of Morgan Earp, both sides are seeking revenge.
Ralph Hayes writes a superbly paced story in which he builds tension through a number of face-offs between the Earp’s and Clanton. He also doesn’t try to paint any of them as heroes. His portrayal of Doc Holliday shows him to be a vicious cold-hearted killer with a short temper. In fact John Ringo comes across as a more likeable character.
For those who enjoy reading about Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday this book is a must read. For those who enjoy a well-told story that follows true events, I can do nothing but recommend this to you. I believe this is Ralph Hayes first Black Horse Western and I hope it isn’t his last.
The Tombstone Vendetta is officially published on February 26th, but should be available now from the usually sources.