Friday, 17 December 2010

Bleached Bones in the Dust

By I.J. Parnham
A Black Horse Western from Hale, December 2010

For twenty years, bounty hunter Montgomery Drake searched for Lomax Rhinehart, desperate to make him pay for an atrocity he committed during the dying days of the war.

So when Drake’s friend, Wallace Sheckley, told him that he had found Lomax, Drake followed him to Sunrise, but Arnold Hays and his gunslingers were holding the town in the grip of fear. Nobody would help him and worse Wallace had gone missing and Lomax was nowhere to be found.

With Arnold Hays the key to Drake finding out what has happened to both his friend and his enemy, he must turn to his gun to get the answers he needs….

Ian Parnham sure packs a lot of action into this book and fills it with great characters. There are a couple of surprises for Drake too that lead him to question his twenty year quest for vengeance, such as has he been wrong about Rhinehart all along? Before he finds the answer to that question Drake will find himself fighting alongside his target.

The bleached bones of the title become a gruesome yet pivotal aspect to the story, which moves swiftly, all the time building towards a lengthy shootout in the old abandoned fort that outlaw Arnold Hays has made his headquarters. His method of keeping the townspeople in line shows what kind of a savage man he is. Unfortunately for Drake, the townspeople’s fear of Hays means they turn against the bounty hunter too.

Although this story didn’t have quite as many plot twists as I’ve come to expect from Ian Parnham I still found this book to be a fast, gripping, and entertaining read that has left me eagerly awaiting his next book.

Bleached Bones in the Dust is officially released at the end of December but should be available now from the usual Internet bookstores.