Thursday, 23 September 2010

Smuggler's Gulch

by Logan Winters
A Black Horse Western from Hale, September 2010

The dark-eyed lady wanted wandering Jake Staggs to collect the bounties on twenty members of an outlaw band. Maybe she was a little crazy, but Jake had no choice but to try things her way since his only other option was the hangman’s noose.

Anyone, even a wanted man like Jake, could ride into the rustlers’ camp at Smuggler’s Gulch, but if Kit Blanchard didn’t want you to leave then you weren’t going to make it out alive. Jake had cheated fate there once before and now he was ready to make a second attempt for the sake of a madwoman.

Of course, somewhere in the distance Marshal Trouffant would be waiting to hang Jake if he failed….

Logan Winters sure knows how to grab his reader’s attention. Here it’s with the amount of dilemmas that Jake Staggs finds himself confronting, all of which could see him ending up in jail, or dead. As well as outlaws he has to deal with three women, two of who prove to be quite mad. All these characters, including Marshal Trouffant, are extremely well portrayed.

The plot swept me up and I found the book difficult to put down before I discovered just how Staggs was going to get out of the mess he finds himself in. Winters also adds a few moments of humour, namely when Staggs tries to get himself arrested, thinking being behind bars will allow him to escape the troubles the wait for him outside.

There’s plenty of action, some surprises as to who kills whom and why. The final showdowns coming across in believable ways, and not just as a convenient way to solve Staggs problems, neatly tying up all the threads to the fast moving story.

Logan Winters is a pseudonym for author Paul Lederer, and for fans of his work this month proves to be a treat as Hale are also publishing a second book by him called Long Blows the North Wind put out under his other BHW pseudonym; Owen G. Irons. Both of these books have an official release date at the end of the month but are already available from the usual Internet bookstores.

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