Thursday, 9 August 2012

Cover Gallery: Bodie the Stalker

By Neil Hunter

Bodie was a bounty hunter, a legalised killer, a man alone.

Bodie was a survivor in a tough world where a gunman’s life depended on his ruthlessness and his speed on the draw. But Bodie didn’t kid himself about the glory of being a gunslinger. Killing was a trade and Bodie was for hire to anyone with enough money and desperation. Yet there was one man who tried to take Bodie for a two-bit greenhorn. And Bodie wasn’t about to be taken…

In San Felipe a priest had been brutalised, a young girl raped and a statue stolen. Bodie aimed to kill the men responsible. He had once been a lawman, but now he tracked outlaws for bounty, and for his own satisfaction. He would blast a murderer’s head off without flinching – it was all in a day’s work. Only this time it was different. Bodie had a personal stake in wanting these men dead. For a killer, a private quarrel can be fatal…

Angela Crown came to Bodie with a proposition – she wanted to hire his gun. It wasn’t Bodie’s usual line of work, but something about Miss Crown convinced The Stalker that the job would be worthwhile. 

That’s how Bodie got mixed up in bushwhacking, rape, corruption and murder. He was set against a powerful, ruthless landowner who wanted Angela Crown’s mine, and wasn’t going to let one gunman stop him getting it. This sonofabitch had enough money to hire every two-bit gunslinger in town – all to kill Bodie. 

But that wasn’t all the bounty hunter’s problems. There was also a beautiful, wealthy and cold-blooded whore called Beth Arling and she, too, had good reason to want Bodie dead…

They called the man Coyote. A half-breed, a ruthless killer. It needed an equally ruthless man to run him to ground. There was only one gunman that could measure up. Bodie.

When Bodie set out to find Coyote with twelve Winchesters and a thousand rounds of ammunition, he couldn’t know that his carefully devised plans were to be completely wiped out.

The first complication came in the voluptuous form of Eden Chantry, a girl Bodie knew from way back. The second big problem loomed in the shape of Silva, a hitman from the East. Bodie’s reputation had spread even as far as New York, and somebody in that city had decided that The Stalker was too dangerous to live…

Jody Butler was a mean, vicious kid. For a long time he’d had the run of the territory where his rich, powerful father was the law. But the day Jody blew a man’s head away with a shotgun, the townspeople of Pine Ridge decided they’d had enough. They hired a killer. He was called Bodie.

For the first time in his life it looked like The Stalker had bitten off more than he could chew. Major Butler wasn’t the type to sit back and see his boy taken in by a bounty hunter. He hit Bodie with everything he had.

Bodie was kicked, beaten, damn near killed. But he soaked it all up, and came back for more…

The day a Kiowa Indian saved Bodie’s life was one that neither of them would forget. In Long Walker, Bodie found the nearest thing to a partner he’d ever need.

They were both hunters, outcasts, loners. And they were both on the trail of the same man – a bible-spouting killer called Parson Kane. It was obvious that neither Bodie nor the Indian could take Kane and his Comancheros alone. But in Pueblo Diablo, they discovered that even as a team they may have bitten off more than they could chew.

Neil Hunter is a pseudonym used by British writer Mike Linaker and this series was published in the UK by Star Books. The first five came out in 1979, the sixth, and last followed in 1980.

1980 also saw the publication of the second issue of the UK’s Western Magazine in which a further, short, story about Bodie appeared: Death Comes to Jubilation.

It is still possible to find the books, Linford also published them in large print editions, but the magazine is much harder to find. Piccadilly Publishing has recently been putting the series out in ebook form and the first two are available now. 

Click on the above images to see larger versions.

1 comment:

Joanne Walpole said...

I like the way you've sized these covers. They show the detail well. Jo