Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Outlaw Train

by Cameron Judd
Leisure, March 2010

Deputy Luke Cable’s job has gotten a whole lot harder lately. He’s been acting marshal since Marshal Ben Keely left on a trip east—and disappeared. It’s up to Luke to keep the peace, and that’s hard to do since the arrival of the Outlaw Train, a travelling collection of curiosities, including the remains of notorious outlaws. But not all the outlaws in town are dead. Scar Nolan is very much alive. He came to town right after the train pulled in. He’s killed before and unless Luke can stop him he’s aiming to do it again aboard the…Outlaw Train.

Cameron Judd fills this book with a fascinating bunch of characters, many of who are involved in enterprises that don’t turn up that often in westerns. People such as the man with the tattooed ears who owns the Outlaw Train – a rolling museum of dead outlaws and weapons used to kill others. Then there’s the stunning Katrina Haus who claims she can communicate with the dead – a woman who some suspect of being the missing killer Kate Bender. There’s the mysterious man who lives in seclusion above the Emporium, never venturing outside. My favourite is the ex-drunk, Dewitt Stamps, who has now got religion in a big way and is employed as the jailer. And it’s not just people that cause problems for Deputy Luke Cable; what of the severed leg found near the railway tracks?

Cameron Judd combines all these elements, and more, in a very fast moving and difficult to put down story that fuels the imagination. As all his characters come together in the town of Wiles, Kansas, the author has another surprise waiting for the reader which resolves all his storylines in a dramatic and violent conclusion.

I also liked the fact that Cameron Judd included a real person in the story, Kate Bender. Is she the person pretending to be Katrina Haus? That’s something you’ll have to find out for yourself, and hopefully you’ll be as entertained as I was with this book whilst finding out the answer.

I’ve only read a couple of books by Cameron Judd and this one has me very eager to try more.

1 comment:

Craig Clarke said...

I have not read any Judd books, despite his being all over the shelves when I lived near his hometown.

Of course, I wasn't reading all that many Westerns back then, either. :)

Maybe it's time to give him a try. This premise is certainly intriguing. Thanks for the review.