Monday, 13 December 2010

Trailsman #350

By Jon Sharpe
Signet, December 2010

Arizona Territory, 1863 – where death comes in the dark of night, and worse in the bright light of day.

Over the past year, young women have gone missing from the town of Haven. They’ve been taken by a hunter who strikes at will and leaves no trace. And when a search party mistakes the Trailsman for the culprit, he ends up not just fighting for his life, but hunting a predator who needs to be put down like the bloody beast he is….

This is a book full of mystery. A mystery that will keep you guessing until the author decides to reveal the answers. I had my suspects as to the identity of “The Ghoul”, and my choice kept changing as the story developed, each chapter heightening my suspicions, making it harder and harder for me to stop reading until I’d discovered the horror of the title and just who was behind it.

Not only does Fargo want to find the person who has been attempting to kill him, and caused him to barely escape from being hung when he first arrived in the vicinity of the town called Haven, but he has to keep dealing with three townsmen who are determined to beat him to death. The fights with these three happening at regular intervals.

The book also has a number of memorable characters, in particular Marshal Marion Tibbit and the old prospector, Badger. Yet it’s the discovery of the horror of the missing girls that reveals the true savagery of this tale that is certain to leave a lasting memory with the reader.

The story is told at a very fast pace with action in virtually every chapter. The book ends with a couple of very brutal and bloody gunfights, and I was surprised at how many of the characters, who had survived to this point, died.

Once again Jon Sharpe (in this case David Robbins) has come up with another gripping entry into the Trailsman series. 


Anonymous said...

Why do you suppose they used an existing title #256 from 2003 also had the same title..........kinda odd huh. I would like your thoughts on this.

larrygebert said...

that was me that wrote the above

Steve M said...

The two books you mention are by different authors, 256 being by James Reasoner. It could be that the different authors don't realise the title has been used when they submit their book. I do know that the publisher often changes titles too, so it may not be anything to do with the authors.

I'd have thought the publisher would check titles used though, so this didn't happen.

If you check a list of Trailsman books (and Longarm and Slocum) you'll see that there are more titles that have been used more than once, Tomahawk Justice for instance on books 39 and 141. The third Giant Edition is called New Mexico Nightmare and latter book 281 shared this title.

Even odder than the reuse of titles, there are two Trailsman books that share the exact same cover art - titles are different though - but I'll have to leave it to you to search out these as my copies are in storage and not easy to get to at the moment.

I used to find this kind of thing confusing as when it first happened (with Longarm 11 and 139) I wondered if I was buying the same book. After all publishers have put out the same book in the same series but usually with a different title - ref the Sundance series and the Lassiter series.

My overall thought is the publishers ought to check and not reuse the same titles for the same series.

larry gebert said...

I knew you would have some insight on this thank you. also i did not realize j. reasoner wrote #256 which is pretty cool cuz 2 of my 3 favorite western authors are Robbins and Reasoner.