By Dean Edwards
Hale, November 2012
In search of work, cow-puncher Jeff Stewart is heading south. Making his way through the strange, untamed landscape that fringes the arid desert, Stewart is riding up into the maze of canyons when there is distant gunfire and a massive explosion.
With the sound of bullets ringing in his ears, the naïve cowboy has no idea that the savage Barton gang is en route to the notorious prison, Fort Addams, to free their leader. And that soon the gang and Jeff Stewart will be on a deadly collision course….
The whereabouts of the Whispering Skull, and the treasure to be found there, is the driving force behind this tale. Only one man knows its location – or does he? The story also involves a vengeance hungry soldier who leads his patrol in pursuit of the outlaws. Jeff Stewart has his own problems trying, unsuccessfully, to stay out of harms way.
As ghostly choirs sing, fear takes a grip on most of the characters and causes the outlaw's fragile friendships to begin to crumble as mistrusts and greed power their actions.
The book builds extremely well to its startling discovery in a box canyon that in turn leads to the final showdown involving all the main characters.
Surprisingly for a Black Horse Western this book doesn’t contain any female characters, which makes for a refreshing change.
This is the first book I’ve read that carries the author name of Dean Edwards but not the first I’ve read by the writer behind this pseudonym, Michael D. George, and once again I’m left eagerly waiting for his next book.