by John Davage
A Black Horse Western from Hale, April 2010
When Will Cord is shot dead for the brutal killing of Ali Toombs, Joe Hayes and his two sons know the real killer is still at large…
Could it be Cole Sanderson, only recently arrived in Consolation? Saloon girl, Maggie Brown, knows he is not who he says he is. Or could it be Lew Rosen, long-time editor of the Gazette, who himself is suspicious of the Hayes brothers?
As fear and suspicion spread faster than a prairie fire, is anyone safe from accusation and violence?
This story is set nearly twenty years after the killing of Ali Toombs, and the author expertly leads the reader through a gripping storyline full of mystery. The reader is let in on who killed Ali Toombs early in the tale, but who is leaving notes relating to that long ago killing? John Davage cunningly points the finger at many of his characters, and keeps the reader guessing until he’s ready to reveal all.
John Davage moves his story forward at a swift pace, as people begin to lose their nerve and begin killing one another. You’ll have met many of the characters before: there’s the land hungry rancher, the banker who forecloses on loans, the lawman in the rancher’s pocket (due to marrying into the family), the newspaperman, the whore, and the stranger who hides behind an alias. But it’s how the author has his characters react to each other and the motives behind their actions that give this book a freshness that pulls the reader into the plot, which is all tied up neatly by the end.
As far as I can tell this is the first BHW by John Davage, and, on the strength of this one, I can only hope there will be many more.
Unsigned Avenger is officially released on April 30th but is available now from the usual Internet sources.