By Dusty Richards
Berkley, February 2013
When the Texas legislature decided to stop paying its Rangers, Phil Guthrey knew it was time to move on to greener pastures. As he rides into the Arizona Territory, he finds a slew of criminals running free – thanks to the Crook County’s no-good sheriff. With reports of rape, arson, theft, fatal shoot-outs, and foul play, Guthrey decides to make it his mission to rehabilitate Crook County, not to mention capture the heart of the spunky Cally Bridges.
As Guthrey sets out to bring to justice the men terrorizing his new home, he knows he must ultimately find a way to uproot Sheriff Killion if he wants to clean up the county for good. The fight will be long and hard, but for a former Texas Ranger like Guthrey, getting your hands dirty is just part of the job…
Dusty Richards soon had me hooked as I wanted to find out if Guthrey could achieve his aims of cleaning up Crook County as it seemed his upcoming marriage could get it the way – would one have to be sacrificed for the other? Dusty Richards also creates an air of impending doom over Guthrey’s future with Cally and I found myself wondering if she’d be alive at the end…of course I can’t reveal the answer to that question here.
There isn’t a lot of gun action as most of the plot is based around getting the required number of votes so Guthrey can become the new sheriff and round up all the known criminals to the letter of the law. This all has to be timed to perfection or lawlessness could take control of Crook County, and it’s this race against time that captured my interest and kept me reading.
Dusty Richards has been writing westerns for a long time now, under both his own name and pseudonyms. He’s a Spur Winning author, and, as expected, his experience shows in creating an excellent set of characters and his writing style is extremely readable.
This book has been billed as the first in a new series but as of this moment I haven’t seen any dates for the next one.