By Billy Hall
Hale, March 2012
Pat Harmon, sometime lawman, sometime cowboy, pressed himself against the cliffs in the dark night. Sweeping his gun blindly across the darkness he knew the ‘Ghost Dog’ terrorizing the region could leap out of the darkness at any moment and rip away his throat.
He had been a fool to accept the job of ridding the county of an unseen but deadly menace that had left a trail of dead and mutilated people. Even now he wished he could saddle up and ride away, but he could not, if it meant leaving Callie Hebert.
Suddenly, tiny sounds, impossible to identify, broke the stillness of the night, then pandemonium erupted without warning.
Right from the start Billy Hall hooks the reader with questions as to just what is tearing the throats of out people. It isn’t long before the legend of the ‘Ghost Dog’ is told and terror grips the people in the area. Fear of demons keeping people scared to go out after dark. Billy Hall creates some great atmosphere surrounding these fears. He also adds many other superstitions too, such as spilled salt and crossing the path of a black cat.
Cats and dogs play a large part in this story too, my favourite being Sweetie Pie, a large battered tom cat who both human and animal are scared of, except the man he’s ‘adopted’ and this man’s horses. The picture Billy Hall created in my mind of the cat riding on the back of a horse seated on the bedroll is priceless. Of course these pets have important roles to play in the outcome of this novel.
Amidst all the blood and mayhem a love story also unfolds, one that keeps Pat Harmon searching for whatever it is that’s doing the killing. He doesn’t believe in the ‘Ghost Dog’, yet has no other idea as to what it could be. He is determined to stop it though, before it tears Callie apart too. And it’s Callie’s love for him that will put her in deadly danger as the truth behind the ‘Ghost Dog’ is finally revealed.
With over thirty Black Horse Westerns behind him, Billy Hall presents the reader with another excellent tale. He knows how to build suspense and how to capture the reader’s imagination and left me eagerly awaiting his next publication.
Range of Terror is officially released on March 30th but is available now.