by M. Duggan
A Black Horse Western from Hale, March 2010
Dennis Rumble wasn’t a good man but he wasn’t entirely bad. He had principles, after all. He wasn’t anything like the notorious band of outlaws calling themselves the Coyotes, into whose territory he was obliged to travel.
He was a man with a mission, determined to rescue a beautiful woman snatched from the stage by the outlaws. As Rumble was soon to learn, though, things are not always as they seem. Twists and turns lay ahead of him and many men, some more deserving than others, were destined to lose their lives over what Rumble called ‘The Devil’s Gold.’
Not many, if any, of the characters in this book are particularly likable, but M. (Mary) Duggan does make you want to find out what happens to them in a fast moving story that is filled with action.
It would seem that the author prefers to kill or maim with weapons other than firearms – although these are used too – such as the main character’s sword in a cane, rocks, and axe handles, most of these killings being quite brutal and graphically described.
Although Rumble is the main character, much of the story sees him on the sidelines, watching the various sides wipe each other out. Duggan also finishes the book with an ending guaranteed to leave the reader with a grin on their face.
The book is easy to read but surprisingly for a BHW is full of typos, especially in the opening chapters; a couple of times I had to re-read a sentence to make sense of it. Duggan also refers to a number of women with the title of Miz. Not a term I’d expect to find in a western as it appears that its earliest use was in 1901, and after that not used that often until 1949.
The Devil’s Gold is M. Duggan’s 18th BHW, so there’s plenty more of her work to read if this book appeals to you.
The Devil’s Gold is officially released on the 31st of March but is available now from the usual sources.