By I.J. Parnham
A Black Horse Western from Hale, August 2011
Tales about the spectre of the night known as the Prairie Man were told to frighten children, but one day those tales nearly led to a tragic accident for Temple Kennedy. His friend Hank Pierce saved his life. Temple vowed that one day he would return the favour.
Fifteen years later the two friends grew up to lead very different lives: Hank is a respected citizen while Temple is an outlaw. But, when Hank is wrongly accused of murder, Temple is given a chance for redemption. He vows to save Hank or die in the attempt.
However, in seeking to unmask the real culprit his investigation leads to a man who isn’t even supposed to exist: the Prairie Man.
Ian Parnham sure piles on the problems for his hero, Temple Kennedy. Not only does he have only two days to find the real killer, a task made increasingly difficult due to the fact the everyone else seems to think Hank is guilty, including the town lawman. Kennedy will also uncover, and have to deal with, the truth behind his parent’s deaths. And as for the Prairie Man, how can he catch someone who isn’t real?
The Prairie Man is a terrific character, who real or not, gives this story a memorable touch of supernatural mystery. As the story progresses more deaths are blamed on this spectre.
Ian Parnham keeps the suspense high by not revealing to the reader just who is responsible for what, and when Kennedy finds himself in jail the reader has to wonder how he can possibly save Hank, or himself for that matter. The book is action packed and also contains many moments of humour, particularly when Kennedy is trying to right his past wrongs.
The tangled story threads prove to have a strong grip, and I’d say any reader would find this book difficult to put down until all the answers are brought out into the open. Definitely a tale that captures the imagination, and one that will leave the reader eager to try more of Ian Parnham’s work.
The Prairie Man has an official release date of August 31st but can be ordered now from the usual Internet sources.