By Jon Sharpe
Signet, January 2011
The Smoky Mountains, 1861 – where strangers who aren’t careful wind up six feet under.
Nestled deep in the Smoky Mountains, the town of Promise claims to be the “cleanest little town west of the Mississippi.” But in this case, cleanliness is far from goodliness. Promise is a place where people who step out of line in the slightest pay to the fullest – and those who can’t pay with cash pay with their lives. But the Trailsman pays with hot lead….
Having read the blurb you just know the Trailsman is going to fall foul of the many laws of Promise, and sure enough he does, and as he discovers more and more craziness within the town, so his anger begins to rise to boiling point.
The book is filled with a cast of terrific characters, from Marshal Travers and Susan Brubaker, to Mayor Bascomb and the Utley family. But for me the most memorable had to be the two young lovers, Joan and Troy, who are attempting to elope to Oregon. In fact it’s around these two runaways that most of the plot revolves.
As expected from a Trailsman book this story moves forward at a tremendous pace and is filled with action. Mixed into all the violence are a few humorous incidents and a lot of sarcastic comments, usually voiced by the Trailsman.
As Skye Fargo’s anger mounts we see the emergence of his darker, tougher side as he decides to stop the guilty dead in their tracks. But it’s not only Fargo who shows his more brutal side, as the author (in this case David Robbins writing as Jon Sharpe) has a surprise or two waiting to be revealed later in the tale, as one of the characters says, “you have yet to see the real me.” This statement providing a shocking and savage twist to the end of this exciting read.
Fans of the Trailsman series should make sure they don’t miss this one.