As by Jon Sharpe
Signet, October 2010
Northeast Arkansas, 1860 – where the hunter quickly becomes the hunted, and Skye Fargo discovers that a fish rots from the top.
In the wilds of northwest Arkansas, a local U.S. Army fort is under attack. Not from an enemy army, but from a band of highwaymen who kill at will and strike without warning, then fade into the shadows. And Fargo, helped by a half-crazy half-blood Choctaw, is the only who can hunt down the murderers and deliver justice….
Like the majority of books in this long running series, this entry is a fast moving, action packed, and entertaining read. The book is filled with well-drawn characters and the author does well in creating an air of suspicion over many of them as to whether they are involved with the attacks on the forts supplies, be they some of the local hard men, a beautiful woman or two, or the rich-beyond-his-means lawman.
I’m not sure who the author is behind the pseudonym of Jon Sharpe this time, but he definitely has his own “voice”. His style is very readable once you get used to the way he has his characters, including Skye Fargo, speak, which is quite different to other authors working on the series. There are lots of humorous exchanges too, mainly involving Cranky Man, Fargo’s Choctaw partner in this book.
A couple of things caught my eye and made me wonder; it’s mentioned more than once that Fargo has an arrowhead embedded in his back that causes him discomfort, particularly when the weather is turning for the worse. This is something I don’t recall reading in any other Trailsman books. And there’s discussion on why the Colonel won’t use the telegraph to exchange messages with Fargo, this made me wonder as to whether the telegraph was up and running in 1860 (when the book is set) as I thought it came in a little latter in America, still I could be wrong. Let me quickly add that neither of these queries in anyway spoilt my enjoyment of the story overall.