By Paul Bedford
Hale, January 2014
Josiah Wakefield and Dan Sturgis are young civil war veterans, employed in the Territory of Nebraska by the Union Pacific Railroad to hunt down the hired gunmen who are wreaking their supply trains. As robbery is clearly not the motive, someone must be trying to slow up the railroad’s westward progress.
After a vicious firefight on the trackless plains, their continued pursuit takes them to the dissolute city of Omaha where, in the company of their new acquaintance, Bill Hickok, they survive an ambush by paid assassins.
Their trouble is only just beginning, and they are to face deadly city marshal, Deke Pritchett, and the perils of being on board an Iron Horse, before the momentous finale. But just whose side is Bill Hickok really on?
There’s plenty of intrigue to keep readers turning the pages, such as who is behind the attacks on the supply trains and why? The mystery surrounding the appearance of Hickok and the doubt about where is loyalties lie serve as excellent hooks that truly make this a difficult to put down read.
Paul Bedford provides a terrific tale in this, his third Black Horse Western. It’s extremely fast moving and packed full of bloody action which can strike down any of his well-crafted characters at any time, without warning. The violent scenes are fairly graphic in their descriptions.
The story is longer than many Black Horse Westerns and that seems to be a trait of Paul Bedford, one that I welcome. At no time does his storytelling seem long-winded and padded to fit a required number of pages or words.
As I said in my reviews of Paul Bedford’s pervious two books he has become one of my favourite Black Horse Western writers and this story strengthens that statement with ease. Let’s hope it’s not too long before his fourth book appears.
The Iron Horse (Black Horse Western) Amazon UK