By Owen G. Irons
A Black Horse Western from Hale, January 2011
The Chicolote highwayman, notable for his odd habit of returning his ill-gotten gains after terrorizing passengers and stagecoach drivers, had long been responsible for disrupting coach travel and gold shipments along the line.
Now he was dead, or so the story went, but his body was never found and the stick-ups continued as before. Could there be a second man imitating him? Or perhaps more?
The robberies always happened on the same stretch of the same dangerous road, with the same precision. The banks were getting nervous about sending anything of value on the Chicolote and the passengers feared for their safety. Someone had to stop the hold-ups….
It was a job for Laredo.
Owen G. Irons has come up with an excellent plot and read with this story. The action moves along at a very swift pace and I found the book very difficult to put down.
Irons lets the reader in on what is happening, although at first you don’t know the motives behind the robberies. I found it fascinating to discover the reasons behind the hold-ups and why others try to use the legend of the Chicolate highwayman for their own gain. All these different wannabe robbers making this a difficult case for the hero, Laredo, to crack. Just when he thinks he’s solved the problem the Chicolate highwayman strikes again…
Not all the highwaymen are bad people, although a couple sure are, some are forced into trying their hand at robbery as they see no other answer to their problems. This is something Laredo recognizes and it was interesting to see the different ways he dealt with them when he finally caught up with them.
Owen G. Irons is a pseudonym used by Paul Lederer and he has once more come out with a very entertaining story with The Highwaymen, one that has me looking forward to his next release. As it happens I don’t have to wait until the next Owen G. Irons book hits the shelves, as Paul Lederer has a second BHW released this month too, The Tanglewood Desperadoes as by Logan Winters.