By Chap O’Keefe
Black Horse Extra Books, June 2013
Paid to mind other folks’ business, Joshua Dillard did it with a .45 Colt Peacemaker. But he also had a mission of his own, and when Butch Simich and his bunch stuck up the stage from Tucson he swung into vengeful action.
Stirring it along came Dorothy-May Pennydale, spirited daughter of a whiskey-soaked way station boss. And in the thick of it from the start was Clement P. Conway from New York City, hack writer of dime novels – a greenhorn with guts plunging out of his depth.
The fight led into treacherous territory, up against rogue marshal Virgil Lyons and saloonkeeper Dice Sanders, whose greed for women and money produced mayhem ... and the most violent gun battle the one-horse town of Hellyer’s Creek had ever seen!
Chap O’Keefe has assembled a terrific set of characters for this Joshua Dillard novel that begins with a stagecoach robbery and then never lets up with action until the end, which includes an excellent fight between two women.
Dillard isn’t above making mistakes, and after being captured by the stage robbers he’s left in a how’s he going to get out of that situation that will keep any reader turning the pages to discover the answer.
It’s assumed that Dillard is working for Wells Fargo throughout the story and this fact makes for a neat twist ending that also leads to a humorous reason for Dillard to ride on to his next adventure.
Shootout at Hellyer’s Creek should appeal to all those who enjoy traditional westerns filled with non-stop action, and at just under $3.00 / £2.00 how can you afford not to give this a try?