THE TRAILSMAN #371
By Jon Sharpe
Signet, September 2012
Skye Fargo knows he’s in big trouble when he wakes up with a bullet in his body, a beauty by his bed – and absolutely no memory of who he is. But when a band of greedy land-grabbers threatens the woman who saved his life, the Trailsman remembers the only things that matter: how to draw fast, how to aim sure, and how to shoot to kill….
By page four there were already two questions that needed answers and they had me eagerly reading on to discover just what was going on. Unfortunately Jon Sharpe doesn’t believe in revealing those answers until he’d confused me even more with further strange goings on that lead to more questions, making this a very difficult book to put down.
The story begins with a man waking up not knowing who he is, who shot him and why. Anyone who has read any other Trailsman book will have no difficulty working out this man is Skye Fargo but what I really liked about this part of the story is that the author never calls him by name, in fact he takes on a new name for a while. How Fargo regains his memory put a massive grin on my face, and for anyone who doesn’t know the character of the Trailsman there’s lots of information on that as he struggles to remember who he is.
Once Fargo’s memory has return the unanswered questions remain, and as the story unfolds so the mysteries deepen. Who’s poisoning cattle? Who’s threatening miners? Why does the biggest rancher around want more land? Who is still attempting to kill the Trailsman? Why does one man say he knows but refuses to tell? And so it goes on…
The fast moving story is filled with tough talking men and a superbly draw villain, a killer whose killed an impressive amount of victims…and how these kills or carried out! Be prepared for some brutally graphic descriptions here. And when the killer threatens to take out Fargo’s Ovaro, the Trailsman goes from being mad to homicidal in his quest to save his horse. Great stuff indeed.
Jon Sharpe (this time around author David Robbins) really has come up with a terrific killer for this savage story. As usual there’s plenty of excellent sarcastic dialogue from a superb set of characters amid the almost non-stop action, and as the book gallops to its violent climax I had to start wondering just who would be left alive by the end.
California Killers is a story that really highlights many of the reasons that I keep returning to this series again and again, and is one that no Trailsman, or indeed David Robbins, fan should miss.