By Scott Connor
Hale, May 2012
It took Marshal Ellis Moore twelve years to clean up Empire Falls, and he was killed taking on the last of the gun-toters who had controlled his town. But at his funeral US Marshal Lincoln Hawk told his sons Daniel and Henry that all was not as it seems. Ellis had been on the payroll of Samuel Holdstock, who controlled Skull Bend from his steamboat, and who was now spreading his corrupting influence downriver.
Daniel and Henry vowed to expose the full truth. To do that they would need to infiltrate Samuel’s domain, spirit him away from his steamboat, and then deliver him to justice in Empire Falls. Even the formidable Lincoln Hawk reckoned their mission was doomed to fail, but to put right their father’s mistakes they would have to succeed.
The first part of this extremely fast paced book tells of the Moore brothers discovering the truth about their father and the uncertain future one of them has because of it. Lincoln Hawk says he can’t help them bring down Holdstock as he is tracking down a failed bank robber who he says is working for Holdstock. So the Moore brothers head off to Skull Creek with a very flimsy plan.
The story mainly follows the Moore brothers trail but also switches to Hawk and other characters every now and again. Of course all their paths bring them together about mid-story and then the tale becomes a roller-coaster ride of action.
Plans go wrong. The Moore’s and Hawk are captured by different people. Escape for the Moore’s seems impossible and one finds himself strapped to a revolving paddle wheel whilst the other has a very slim chance of saving his life, this scene provides some very tense and exciting reading. A bid for freedom sees the steamboat break free from its mooring and the final scenes are all played out aboard this drifting boat as both sides attempt to gain control.
Scott Connor doesn’t let up with the action from the moment the brothers are captured, which also adds a touch of mystery as to how Holdstock knew they were coming meaning there’s an informant to deal with too. Everything crashes together in a dramatic conclusion that violently brings about a satisfying close to the book.
Ride the Savage River proved to be a very entertaining read that left me looking forward to Scott Connor’s next book High Noon in Snake Ridge that hits the shelves in September 2012.