as by Tabor Evans
Jove, October 2010
(Giant Edition #28)
Just when the West seems peaceful enough for Longarm to take a much needed respite, duty calls. Railroad baron Clayton Abernathy is laying down a railroad line in Wyoming, but someone in the town of Rimfire is making trouble for him. Wary of the greedy Clayton, Longarm must help – and Clayton’s daughter makes it worth his while.
Longarm befriends the brother and sister owners of Rimfire’s stagecoach line – the suspected saboteurs. But they’re being attacked, too. Who are these masked bandits bent on ruining business and hindering progress? If Longarm can pull himself away from the succulent ladies on both ends of the dispute for long enough, he’s going to issue these outlaws a one-way ticket to hell…
I closed my review of the last Longarm Giant with these words ‘….finishes the book with a final line that will leave you wondering what lies in store for Deputy U.S. Marshal Custis Long in the future’ and as I hoped this story carries on from there. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous giant before this as Longarm and the Railroad War is a self contained novel and you don’t need to know what happened before to follow, and enjoy, this storyline.
Like the last four giant editions this one sees Long teaming up with the heroes of another western series, namely Jessie Starbuck and Ki from the Lone Star series, both of whom have appeared in other giant Longarm adventures. You’ll have read nearly half the book before they are introduced and this time they seem to find themselves on the opposite side of the dispute to Longarm.
The story is very fast moving and filled with action of more than one kind – after all Longarm is an adult series. The tale is told in an extremely readable style which includes and number of cliff-hanger scene endings that make the book virtually impossible to put down before the exciting conclusion, part of which is a gripping and breathtaking race against time.
I’d have been surprised if I didn’t find this book to be an excellent read though, as it was written by one of the best western writers working today, James Reasoner.
I’m going to end this review with a look at the cover. Forget the profile of Longarm and look at the two figures. How many times can they be used on these books? Check out one of the other Longarm Giants (Longarm and the Unwritten Law) to see what I mean. At least this pose hasn’t been as overused as some of the others that are constantly turning up on Longarm covers. I guess cut-and-paste is faster to do than painting a new picture but surely Miro, Jove, it’s about time for a change?