Wednesday 18 January 2012

Death Devil

By Jon Sharpe
Signet, January 2012

1861, the Ozark Mountains – where hate ran rampant and life was cheap.

Deep in the Ozark Mountains, there’s a killer disease on the loose, and the only one who can stop it is the beautiful Dr. Belinda Jackson. A mad fever is spreading like wildfire, and with the gun-toting galoots, flimflamming snake oil salesmen, and distrustful denizens around her, the doc is at the end of her rope. Luckily, the Trailsman has just the bedside manner to get the job done….

Jon Sharpe fills this story will some terrific characters, all of which are going to provide one kind of a headache or another for Fargo. There’s the on going feud between Dr. Belinda Jackson and the doctor who was in the area before her, Charlie Dogood. Belinda also has to deal with many locals mistrust of a female doctor and their reluctance to let her tend them. Other problems for The Trailsman include the young kid who likes to rob people for fun, there is also the crazy bowman running around in the woods loosing arrows at anyone at anytime. Never mind the locals who just want to see him dead or run out of town.

Once locals begin to believe the fever is rabies the story takes an even darker tone, as a number of horrific killings take place in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease. Fargo and Belinda receive some brutal treatment, which sees the Trailsman’s anger boiling over and this leads to some exciting, and savage, action sequences that provide for gripping reading.

I know there are those who don’t read this series due to its adult content. For a long time now this has been cut right down and this book has even less than expected, so I’d suggest you don’t pass it by just because you don’t like a lot of sex in your westerns.

The story also has an ending of the type that hasn’t cropped up in a Trailsman book for a long time. Powerful and memorable, which allows the author (in this case David Robbins writing as Jon Sharpe) to show how Fargo deals with an emotional battering. Occasionally having this kind of ending to a book is surprising, and adds strength to the series in my opinion and is something I’d welcome more of as it makes it difficult to predict just how each book will end and therefore keeps me coming back for more.

And is the disease rabies? I guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out the answer to that question….

Seems Amazon have made a mistake with the cover image in the links below, the links will take you to the correct book - the cover they are showing is for a latter book.


David Robbins said...

Steve, Thank you for the review. This one sure shows what happens when you mess with The Man. :)

larry gebert said...

I like these new covers. I also have this on order.

Steve M said...

And as usual they depict an actual scene from the story, something very few other westerns do these days.