Friday 28 September 2012

Luke Jensen, Bounty Hunter

By William W. Johnstone with J.A. Johnstone
Pinnacle, September 2012

The last days of the Civil War. With Richmond under siege, Confederate soldier Luke Jensen is assigned the task of smuggling gold out of the city before the Yankees get their hands on it – when he is ambushed and robbed by four deserters, shot in the back, and left for dead. Taken in by a Georgia farmer and his beautiful daughter, Luke is nursed back to health. Though crippled, he hopes to reunite with his long-lost brother Smoke, but a growing romance keeps him on the farm. Then fate takes a tragic turn. Ruthless carpetbaggers arrive and – in a storm of bullets and bloodshed – Luke is forced to strike out on his own. Searching for a new life. Hunting down the baddest of the bad…to become the greatest bounty hunter who ever lived.

This is the first in another new series from the Johnstone’s, the third this year if my memory is correct. Here we find out what really happened to Luke Jensen, his fate having been mentioned way back, briefly, in the early Mountain Man books about Smoke Jensen, in fact for fans of Smoke this book is a must read as he has a role to play here too.

Bounty Hunter is divided into four parts, each dealing with a different period in Luke Jensen’s life, such as trying to get the gold out of Richmond and his recovery from being left for dead.

The author tells the story at a rapid pace and it’s filled with exciting incidents, be they fast furious fights or gripping struggles to survive, for me one of the best of these being Luke’s desperate attempt to save himself from drowning without the use of his legs.  

For those who like a touch of romance in their books then this one won’t disappoint, although it’s obvious from the blurb this isn’t going to end happily, but it didn’t end as I expected, so its finish came as a surprise.

With plenty of cliff-hanger scene and chapter endings along with strong storylines this is a book that urges you to continue reading, and it’s one that has left me looking forward to the next.

Finally, a comment about the cover, the image shown above is the book I have and if you compare it to the pictures shown at various Internet bookstores you’ll see it has had the gunmen in the background removed. Makes me wonder why? Any ideas?

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