Thursday 5 December 2013

The Bronc Buster

By Billy Hall
Hale, November 2013

Bullied as a kid because of his size, Ian Hennessy has sworn never to run from anyone again. But facing a stranger wearing a tied-down Smith & Wesson with a five-inch barrel, there is no doubt that the gunman is after the price on Hennessy’s head.

Now, with the sun directly in his eyes, he can just make out a second gunman, poised to shoot him if he tries to run. And Hennessy’s dreams of going west, and establishing a ranch with the girl he loves, will all come down to this moment….

Roughly the first third of this book tells of how Hennessy was bullied at school and of how he comes to stand up to his tormentors. There’s many a well described fist-fight during this part of the story. He also meets a girl who will become the woman of his dreams.

How to stand-up to bullies isn’t the only new ability Hennessy will learn at this stage of his life. He also discovers, after training, that he is a natural at the fast-draw. Something that he hopes he will never have to use.

So this is a story that shows a young boy growing into a man who doesn’t back down for anyone. A young man who is reluctant to use his talents with fist and gun.

Billy Hall builds his story thoughtfully and almost gently. Hennessy tries to stay out of trouble and make a good living as a bronc buster but the senseless killing of a horse sees his anger begin to boil, but who to direct this hatred at?

There’s another lesson waiting to mould Hennessy, that of learning to control his emotions when being forced to kill. When this happens Billy Hall really ups the pace of this excellent story and gunplay becomes a major element of the latter part of the tale.

So does Hennessy build the life of his dreams with the woman he desires? Is he even alive at the end of the story? Obviously I can’t answer those questions here but I’m sure anyone who chooses to read this book will have fun finding out.

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