Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Tombstone Vendetta

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.


James Reasoner said...

A new book by Ralph Hayes? I'm glad to see Hale bringing authors like him and Paul Lederer back into print.

Steve M said...

I wondered if this was the same Ralph Hayes. It's definately a new book - at least according to the copyright dates, there isn't a published before date.