THE TRAILSMAN #383
By Jon Sharpe
Signet, September 2013
When a small band of settlers seems to vanish into thin air from their camp in the Black Hills, the army asks Skye Fargo to find out what happened. Unfortunately, he’s also saddled with a young greenhorn officer with too much starch and not enough experience. But the tenderfoot is about to learn from the best – while the Trailsman is about to go up against something much worse….
This makes four in a row that sees David Robbins writing behind the pseudonym of Jon Sharpe and this book offers all fans of his work everything he’s known for. Great characterization, superbly witty dialogue that is laced with humour and sarcasm, and hard-hitting action scenes, of which there are many.
David Robbins also brings back Bear River Tom, who last rode alongside Skye Fargo in book #374: Fort Death. Tom is a fellow scout who has a fascination with something that makes him a very difficult character to forget and it’s his comments that lead to a lot of the laughter inducing exchanges that add some lighter moments to this savage tale.
The first part of the story has plenty of mystery that easily hooks and drags the reader into the plot, mainly based around how a whole group of settlers can vanish without a trace. This leads to a run in with a vicious group of outlaws whose leader has some strange demands of the Trailsman when Fargo is held prisoner.
The massacre of the title proves to be a gut-wrenching slaughter that will have every reader urging Fargo on to deal his own brand of justice to those responsible.
If you like this series and/or David Robbins’ storytelling then make sure you don’t miss this one.