By Gary Paulsen
Pocket Books, September 1989
Sheriff Al Murphy knew first-hand about Colorado gold fever. It was the madness glittering in the eyes of desperate prospectors; it was the terrible greed that spread like wildfire. And he suspected it was the cause behind the recent disappearance of Cincherville’s young Chinese laundryman – who had just discovered a rich gold vein.
With a handful of petered-out leads, Murphy tracked the deserted canyons and gold-crazed town. Up against a trio of expert sneakshots and a deadly trap, he discovered a killer willing to stake his claim in more innocent blood. And Murphy swore he’d hunt him down no matter what the cost.
If you haven’t read the first book in this series I’d suggest you do as this second book contains many spoilers to the first as Murphy is still trying to come to terms with what happened then to both himself and the town of Cincherville. As those dark events continue to haunt him Murphy questions his desire to continue as a lawman and of living in Cincherville. It’s whilst struggling to find the answers he is called upon to find a missing Chinese man.
Gary Paulsen once more presents the reader with a tough storyline that sees Murphy finding his investigation turning up nothing. All he is sure of is that the young Chinese man’s wife knows more than she is willing to tell, even though she is the one who has asked him to find her husband.
After being ambushed and shot Murphy’s determination to discover what has happened to Wangsu and why becomes a do or die mission. The story taking on a savage tone that leads to a deadly threat to Murphy’s future.
Paulsen brings the tale to a close with an agonising brutal showdown that will surely leave Murphy with more scars to both body and soul. One thing that is for sure is that I’ll be reading the next book very soon.