By C. Courtney Joyner
Pinnacle, December 2013
Dr. John Bishop thought he’d seen his share of death on the battlefields of America’s great Civil War. Then his quiet life was shattered when a gang of outlaws invaded his home, killed his family, and tortured him within an inch of his life. John Bishop’s soul may have died that day, but his mangled body lived on. A beautiful Cheyenne named White Fox nursed him back to health – and a gunsmith outfitted him with a special shotgun rig where his left arm used to be. A strap across one shoulder fires it, while the chip on the other fuels his quest for vengeance. Now the man called Shotgun rides deep into the Colorado winter to find and kill the men who murdered everything he once held dear. The hunt will lead him straight to the heart of a fiendish criminal conspiracy – and force him to confront the violent legacy of his own outlaw brother.
C. Courtney Joyner has written a book that reads much like a spaghetti western with its use of trick weapons, savage violence, and a large cast of characters that are there to meet grisly ends. White Fox is a match for any man when dealing out death and anti-hero Bishop doesn’t seem to care for anything other than completing his quest for vengeance…or does he? After all he is/was a doctor and his oath to help the hurt emerges a time or two to contradict his more brutal side.
Running alongside the vengeance theme is a search for stolen gold. A treasure that various groups of killers believe Bishop knows the whereabouts of. This of course sees the doctor and White Fox being hunted so his knowledge can be gained from him by whatever means necessary.
The book is very visual in style, which isn’t surprising when you consider its origins as a film and a comic before finally surfacing as a book some fifteen years after it was first conceived and you can read more about this here.
A surprising revelation about one characters’ fate means there’s an excellent opening for a follow-up book and I’m definitely looking forward to this as Shotgun proved to be a hard-hitting and extremely entertaining read.
The book also includes C. Courtney Joyner’s short story The Two-Bit Kill that was originally published in the anthology Law of the Gun.