Tuesday 5 March 2013

Thunder Wagon

By James Reasoner
Harper, August 1994

Big trouble is brewing in Wind River. The Irish are up in arms as the Chinese arrive from California to work on the railroad and the friendly Shoshone stand accused of stealing cattle. Wild talk of gold sends settlers rushing into the Wind River Mountains as the army arrives to protect the railroad and strong-arm the Indians into honouring their treaties.

As enraged railroaders launch a disastrous attack against the Shoshone, and the cavalry thunders towards a catastrophic confrontation, only Marshal Cole Tyler and his deputy Billy Casebolt can track down the real culprits – a vicious gang of saboteurs hell-bent on lighting a fuse that will set off a bloody massacre.

This book is almost non-stop action from beginning to end. Marshal Cole Tyler doesn’t have a chance to catch his breath as one deadly situation immediately follows another.

James Reasoner does manage to find time to develop Tyler’s relationships, for better or worse, with the various characters who inhabit Wind River and its surrounding area, some of whom readers of this series will have already met in the first book Wind River

Greed and acting before the true facts are known are the main driving forces behind the problems Tyler has to deal with, such as the arrival of a Chinese family and the subsequent strike by the railroad workers which in turn leads to mob violence. There’s also the muggings that sees the victims lose and ear, cut off for a gruesome trophy – who is the culprit and what is their motivation?

There’s an exciting race against time as Tyler and his deputy try desperately to stop the massacre of the Shoshones by proving someone else is behind the killings being blamed on them, but who and why?

All the main story threads come to a satisfying end but the author expertly leaves one or two hanging thus ensuring the reader will pick up the next book, Wolf Shadow, as I definitely will, to find out what happens next.

Note: This book has now been released as an ebook under its true authorship names of James Reasoner and L.J. Washburn. (The original publisher wanted just one author name on the cover)

1 comment:

Peter Brandvold said...

I've mentioned before I love this series by the Reasoners! I read the first books again recently and found them just as gripping as when I first read them fifteen years ago!

Mean Pete