Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Texas Horse Trading Co. #3

By Gene Shelton
Jove, November 1994

Business is booming for the Texas Horse Trading Co., and the unlikely partnership between the Yankee gent Dave Willoughby and Brubs McCallan the Rebel is paying off in spades. But when a wealthy rancher hires the boys to deliver as many mares as they can round up, their luck runs out – they run smack into the Comanche. It doesn’t take a genius to know they’re the shrewdest – and deadliest – horse thieves in the West, or that they aim to steal the stolen horses for themselves.

It’s gonna be one hell of a week…

Gene Shelton once again produces a fast moving mix of traditional western and humour. Willoughby and McCallan being a very likeable duo, whose banter often raised a smile and laughter from this reader. Their antics get them into all kinds of scrapes that often require fast-talking to stop them ending up swinging from a rope or taking a bullet or two.

The book is filled with a wealth of excellent characters, some of whom readers of the previous two books will have met before such as the Texas Rangers. This story sees our two heroes gather a handful of people around them to help drive their horses to their destination, each of these misfits adding their own problems to the drive. Without a doubt Granny Hooper is the most memorable and has most of the best lines. Her insistence of taking her goats along with her allows for many funny scenes and also provides some of the saddest moments too.

There’s plenty of action of the kind you’d expect in a book about a trail drive, but it’s how Willoughby and McCallan solve the problems that befall them that keeps this story fresh and exciting.

And just when you think you know how the story will finish Gene Shelton introduces a couple more characters who provide a neat twist to the books end, leaving me looking forward to reading the next in the series.


larry gebert said...

This looked so good i ordered the 1st in the series and by the same author unwanted:dead or alive. Look forward to them showing up.

Steve M said...

I've reviewed the first and second of these on the blog, click the label and all three should come up. I'm currently reading the fourth, and sadly last, of them.

Unwanted Dead or Alive is the first of two books featuring Buck Hawkins and Dobie Garrett. The second book is How the West Was Lost.