THE GUNSMITH #360
By J.R. Roberts
Jove, December 2011
When Clint Adams receives a summons to appear before Grover Cleveland, he makes his way to Washington post-haste. After all, the Gunsmith is a man loyal to his leader and his country. At the White House, the president asks Clint to take on a job: bodyguard for famed scientist Nikola Tesla.
Tesla’s revolutionary research in electricity has caused some to call him a mad scientist, and it seems someone wants to put an end to his experiments. Clint heads to Colorado to meet up with Tesla, but it soon becomes clear that keeping the eccentric scientist out of trouble will be no easier than harnessing a bolt of lightning…
Right from the very beginning of this series the Gunsmith books have regularly featured real people. I’ve always enjoyed this and have often waited for each new book wondering if another would appear in it, and who it would be. Of course there have been many appearances by people who have guest starred in a variety of western books but it’s the less expected people that for me makes this one of the best series around that uses real historical characters, like Tesla in this one (another that has always stood out to me is #183: The Flying Machine – which sees The Gunsmith getting involved with the young Wright brothers).
The story moves fast and is told from a variety of viewpoints, even that of a mountain lion – this animal being just one of those hunting Adams and Tesla - this big cat being used effectively as misdirection at one point.
There’s plenty of action, of more than one kind – remember this is an adult series – lots of great dialogue, and a humorous scene near the beginning involving Tesla and a girl.
I’ve always found The Gunsmith books to be very easy to read and read this one in two sittings, finishing it with a feeling of having been well entertained, and wanting to start another straight away. Fans of The Gunsmith should make sure they don’t miss this one, as should readers who enjoy fictional books containing real people.