By Walter L. Bryant
Hale, December 2012
Ten years after his life is saved, Jason drifts into Inspiration. He believes fate has given him the opportunity to repay the debt when he hears of the leader of an outlaw gang, Adam One-Ear. But fate has dealt him a dangerous hand and he must use all his skills with gun and fist to remain alive, especially when up against two ranch-workers who want him dead.
His determination to meet Adam is complicated by the invention of a sheriff who wants to kill the outlaw, a young man seeking revenge for an old injustice, and the abduction of the rancher’s daughter. And by the time Jason, the sheriff and Adam meet for the final time, nine men will have died….
As far as I can tell this is the first Black Horse Western to carry the author name of Walter L. Bryant and his book is one of the longer stories published by Hale.
Bryant mainly follows his hero Jason but does switch to other characters every now and again such as One-Ear and Billy, the vengeance driven kid. Each storyline, and those of the sheriff and the ranch-workers, are expertly woven together, weaving a twisting yarn that easily held my attention.
Bryant also includes plenty of hooks in the form of questions such as is One-Ear the man who saved Jason back in the Civil War? Why was Jason offered a job out of the blue? Can Billy become a successful outlaw? Which nine characters will become those of the title?
The story is told confidently and at an ever-increasing pace and all the questions are answered satisfactorily by the end. On closing the book I was left hoping it isn’t too long before another BHW comes out from this writer.