as by Ethan Flagg
A Black Horse Western from Hale, September 2010
When Brick Shaftoe receives an urgent cable from his brother, he hurries to the town of Brass Neck in New Mexico. For it is there that the Apache chief, Manganellis, is being supplied with guns to terrorize the small ranchers.
Soon after, Brick discovers that his brother has met with a fatal accident and he is sure that this is no coincidence. Shrugging off his sorrow, Brick vows to find out the truth about what has been going on in Brass Neck … no matter how rocky the road is along the way.
Ethan Flagg sure piles on the problems his hero has to tackle, not only is there the death of his brother and the gunrunning, there is a bunch of mean cowboys, and a homeless Mexican boy searching for his elder sister. It soon becomes obvious that all these storylines are going to combine for the final showdown.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author, who also writes BHW as Dale Graham, and it soon became evident he enjoys his words. Here’s an example: ‘Hartley renewed his glass, then imbibed a copious gulp before answering.’ Now there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just that it took me a chapter or so to get used to his style, once I did the book pulled me into its plot and I became eager to find out just what would happen to the many characters. The author also likes colourful names such as, Flapjack Turner, Jug Lassiter, Buckweed Jackson, and Bareknuckle Beesley.
Descriptions are well done be they of surroundings, character descriptions, or action sequences. The Apache attack on a small ranch being particularly effective. There were surprises along the way too, as in who was killed. There is also a neat twist at the end after the reasons for the ranch attacks are exposed.
Apache Rifles is available now from the usual Internet sources, even though it’s official release date is right at the end of the month.