By Michael D. George
Hale, May 2012
The cattle town of War Smoke was getting bigger as its grasslands filled with steers for the coming trail drives. Marshal Matt Fallen wired other law offices around the remote settlement for help in keeping his town peaceful until the drive moved north.
Kid Palomino and his sidekick, Red Rivers, heeded the call and rode in to help Fallen. When a dying sheriff rides into War Smoke to tell the pair that the notorious bandit, Santiago Del Rosa, has crossed the border with a small army of ruthless killers they don’t need telling twice to leap into action. Can Kid and Rivers stop Santiago before he and his bandits spill even more blood?
Even though I have a few in my collection, this is the first Black Horse Western I’ve read that this author has written under his own name (he writes BHW under at least seven pseudonyms too). Fortress Palomino is the fifth book in his Kid Palomino series.
This fast moving story is mainly about Palomino and Rivers attempting to stop Santiago as he cuts a bloody path described in all its gory detail, making this one of the most violently graphic BHW I’ve read. Chopped up bodies litter Santiago’s trail and no-one is safe from his insane quest; children, women, and men all fall victim and die in such horrific ways that Palomino is shocked by the brutality. But can two men make a stand against, and stop, thirty crazy killers? And what of the Indian who is shadowing the two lawmen? Who is he, and what is his intent?
Michael D. George also includes a secondary plot for Marshal Matt Fallen to deal with and the book moves back and forth between Fallen, Palomino, and Santiago at regular intervals. The final confrontation between the major characters is as savage and bloody as expected and even the land itself has a part to play in the outcome
On the strength of this book I don’t think it’ll be long before I pick up another Michael D. George western, and I’d have no hesitation in recommending it to those who like their books to be filled with graphic violence.
Fortress Palomino is officially released on May 31st but is available now.