Sunday, 6 June 2010

Morgan Kane #35

as by Louis Masterson
Corgi, 1977
Originally published in Norway, 1970

There’d been some mighty strange goings on up in Utah; women had been hunted, like animals, through the desert, homesteads burned to the ground, and entire families massacred in their own homes…

Rumour had it that the responsibility for these terrible deeds lay with a merciless gang, known as the Revenging Angels, who claimed to be the watchdogs for a religious sect based in Salt Lake City. But religious or not, the Angels could not be allowed to take the law into their own hands. So U.S. Marshal Kane was given the job of trying to stop them – and Morgan Kane didn’t aim to lose his life in the process, as so many others had done before him…

This book starts with a woman in a jail cell, a woman who won’t talk, a near crazy woman. Kane appears in the doorway, he recognizes her, she him. Gunfire erupts. Chapter ends. Most of the rest of the story goes back in time to explain events leading up to the opening scene.

Overall Louis Masterson has written a fairly straightforward, almost traditional western here, dealing with the Revenging Angels hunting down women who try to escape from Mormon marriages. Kane also works with a partner on this case, although Ed Zachary isn’t in the story that much.

Masterson (real name Kjell Hallbing) fills the book with tough, and often merciless, characters and soon has Kane fighting for his life, and if it wasn’t for that opening chapter, you’d expect the book to conclude how you’d imagine. Yet this is a Morgan Kane book and they, more often than not, have a savage ending that will leave Kane with emotional scars and this one does that it style, giving the book a powerful, and sad, ending.

Perhaps not the best Morgan Kane story, but definitely one not to miss if you follow the series due to that ending and how it’s going to impact on Kane in following books.

No comments: