by Gene Shelton
Diamond, July 1994
Sometimes there’s only one place to find justice: on the wrong side of the law. And that’s exactly where the down-and-out duo of Willoughby and Brubs do their business…
One’s a Yankee, the other’s a Rebel – so you can’t expect these two unlikely partners to agree on much. But when it comes to horse-trading, Dave Willoughby and Brubs McCallan see eye-to-eye: If you can’t buy ‘em, steal ‘em. And better yet, steal from the lowlifes who deserve it. But now, the boys are a little worried. The Texas Rangers have come riding into town…
And they’re looking to string up some horse thieves.
Having enjoyed the first Texas Horse Trading Co. book I had high hopes for this one, would it measure up to my expectations? The quick answer is yes!
Like the first book Hangtree Pass contains a well-balanced mixture of action, suspense, humorous situations and lively dialogue. There are some excellent problems for Willoughby and McCallan to overcome, not least being chased by Texas Rangers, their bluff when trying to talk their way out of this confrontation makes for a great plot thread. Of course this isn’t the only sticky situation they try to talk their way out of; there’s trying to sell a stolen horse to it’s original owner – this ownership something Dave and Brubs are unaware of. And Brubs’ rules for picking weapons for a duel are both hilarious and memorable.
So Hangtree Pass more than stands up to the quality of the first book in this series. It’s packed with incident and exciting reading. Gene Shelton’s writing style is extremely readable, and difficult to put down – not least due to the inclusion of a number of cliff-hanger chapter, and scene, endings that just urge the reader to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.
Next for me, is the third book in the series, Skull Creek, a book I’m looking forward to reading immensely.