PLATTE RIVER GAUNTLET
By Jon Sharpe
Signet, September 2011
When a frontier army fort is ordered to pull up stakes and move, Fargo’s scouting skills may not be enough to protect the massive military manoeuvre. Even though there are wanton women, blind-drunk buffalo hunters, and highfalutin officers on the march, the real danger is the pack of perilous predators waiting for the Trailsman to let down his guard….
The above blurb is taken from the back of the book and it doesn’t really tell you much about the true contents of this story. True, all the elements mentioned do play some part in the tale but are mainly just the background to the main theme of the story.
Fargo receives a message from long time friend, Texas Jack, asking for his help. How can the Trailsman turn down a request from someone who once saved his life? So Fargo finds himself involved in a crazy scheme to capture some of the Wests’ most dangerous wildlife so they can be put on show in a Wild West Extravaganza.
The story is superbly written, full of very visual prose describing tense confrontations between man and beast, some of which result in very bloody scenes. The author, in this case David Robbins writing as Jon Sharpe, also includes a large amount of laugh out-loud dialogue and situations.
With memorable characters and exciting action driving this more unusual storyline for a Trailsman book, I can only close my comments by saying that if you are a fan of this series then make sure you don’t miss this one. To those who don’t read this series but enjoy westerns about man verses beast then maybe it’s time to consider getting to know the Trailsman.