By Paul Green
Hale, December 2011
John Harrison, a lawyer turned bounty hunter, finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue after capturing fugitive outlaw Clay Barton. He is persuaded by the beautiful Maggie Sloane to allow Barton to lead them to the loot robbed from an army payroll. But things get complicated when Barton double-crosses them and Maggie is kidnapped by the mysterious Leo Gabriel.
With the veteran buffalo soldier, Sergeant Eli Johnson, at his side, Harrison battles ruthless vaqueros and a Comanche war party to recover the money, re-capture Barton and rescue Maggie. However, a further surprise awaits him when he finally catches up with his enemies.
This is the first Black Horse Western from Paul Green, and if it’s action you want he’s an author worth trying out. This book is filled with gunfights as Harrison encounters people wanting to kill him in every chapter, be they bandits, Comanche’s or outlaw Clay Barton. All these deadly battles means the book has a high death count and after seeing early on that Paul Green has no problem killing off some of the main players, the reader can never be sure who will be alive by the end.
Maggie Sloane is not only included for the love interest, she is a strong and able character in her own right, who doesn’t flinch in the face of danger or when she has to kill. She is also an able tracker, better than most of the men who she rides alongside.
Paul Green is a very readable writer who manages to cram a lot into his story. The plot develops well and the pace is fast and furious throughout. He also includes a fair amount of background on his character Harrison that explains why he became a bounty hunter.
The Devil’s Payroll is officially released on December 30th but should be available for pre-order now from the usual Internet bookstores.