By Jon Sharpe
Signet, March 2011
The mountains of western Montana, 1861 – where only the brave dare venture, and few who do ever come out again.
Fourteen-year-old Petey Evans ain’t much to look at, but he’s got a head filled with big dreams – and becoming just like his hero, Skye Fargo, is at the top of the list. Fargo isn’t as eager to take on a pupil, but he gives Petey a quick course in shooting, scouting, and surviving that the boy won’t soon forget. But before long, Petey discovers that there are some things that can’t be taught – even by the Trailsman…
Petey Evans is a great character, one that manages to pull the wool over Fargo’s eyes, something not many people achieve. Once the Trailsman realizes just what Petey’s real objective is, he sets out to save the boy from certain death. This involves the Trailsman putting his own life in danger, not least when he manages to talk his way into becoming a member of a gang of killers lead by the savage Lazarus Wolfe, the outlaw leader making for a terrific adversary for Fargo.
The story is told in an ever-increasing pace that is filled with action, some of which comes suddenly and brutally. Fargo is pitched against impressive odds, and you have to wonder how he can possibly beat them whilst keeping Petey alive. And if trying to save one person isn’t enough of a challenge, Fargo soon finds he has a second person to rescue.
The author – in this case David Robbins writing as Jon Sharpe – fills this book with memorable characters, each having an important role to play in the outcome, even people the Trailsman meets in passing, such as Stricklin, who you might think has played his part once he and Fargo go their separate ways.
Bitterroot Bullets proves to be another excellent entry into this long running series.