Saturday, 29 January 2011

Duel at Del Norte

By Ethan Flagg
A Black Horse Western from Hale, January 2011

Russ Wikeley settles in the boom town of Del Norte, South Dakota, hoping to erase the memory of a sordid past, and after foiling a bank robbery he is persuaded to stand for sheriff in the forthcoming elections. However, a scheming gang boss by the name of Diamond Jim Stoner wants his own man to become sheriff and when he discovers Russ’s secret he is quick to spill the truth.

Stoner’s plan backfires but he is not prepared to give up that easily. Not to be thwarted in his plan to take over the town, Stoner hatches a new scheme to frame his adversary for robbery and murder.

Will Stoner’s dastardly plan succeed? And is Russ prepared to lie down and play dead? Both men are full of determination…but only one can be the victor in the final duel on the streets of Del Norte.

Like the previous book I read by this author this one reinforces my belief that he likes giving his characters colourful names. Here we get Blackfoot Reno, The Kansas Kid, Cimarron Charley, The Sagebrush Kid, and so it goes on.

The book is very readable, and Flagg crams a lot in. Time passes very quickly – in some cases months fly by in a couple of paragraphs, meaning you have to pay attention or you could find yourself wondering how things progressed so far in only a matter of pages.

Some of the situations Wikeley finds himself in are a little predictable, such the time he spends in prison but having said that the story is entertaining. Flagg also throws in a couple of surprises, mainly to do with the woman who he’s dating at the beginning, as readers of BHW would expect them to end up marrying at the end.

The book should now be available from the usual Internet sources even though it isn’t officially released until the last day of the month.

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