Friday 7 June 2013

Bad to the Bone

By Jack Bodine
Harper, October 1994

On the dodge south of the border, Duane Braddock lands in a luxurious Mexican hacienda, where he befriends a powerful nobleman’s lonely wife. It’s only a matter of time before hot lead starts flying, especially when American bounty hunters are closing in on the Pecos Kid, Apache have been seen in the vicinity, and his former great love, Miss Vanessa Fontaine, is hot on his trail.

But Duane Braddock is eighteen years old, and thinks he can handle anything. His problem is that Lady Luck might not agree.

Jack Bodine gives his hero a major moral dilemma in this story, as his religious upbringing fights his lust for a married woman. But is it just lust? Could the Pecos Kid be falling in love? And it’s this question and its ramifications that form the centre storyline of this fast moving tale.

Jack Bodine writes these emotional struggles extremely well, his technique of laying his story out in short scenes that switch regularly from character to character throwing further complications into the mix works superbly and it isn’t long before treachery and vengeance, real or imagined, cause events to explode in violent action.

And what of Vanessa Fontaine? Will she be reunited with Braddock? Will Braddock accept her back and want to spend the rest of his life with her?

Jack Bodine answers all these questions as I hoped he would as this book turned out to be the last in the series. Whether the author knew this at the time of writing I couldn’t say as he closes most of story threads that have been running throughout the series. Braddock is still left wanting revenge on his father’s killer though, and there is a new thread that is just begging to be developed. For me this series ended far too soon.

These books have been released as ebooks under the authors real name, Len Levinson.

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