By John Ladd
Hale, February 2014
When Appaloosa King is asked by Judge Nathan Berkley to ride to the remote town of Deadlock, the task is seemingly simple: pick up his daughter. Yet on the way trouble arises when the cowboys take a diversion to meet up with a mysterious messenger.
But the messenger has another motive for wanting to meet King, and it’s a deadly one. All looks lost until a stranger arrives on the scene who goes by the name of Skyhorse.
As far as I can tell this is the second Black Horse Western about Appaloosa King but I don’t believe you need to read that earlier book first to fully enjoy Skyhorse. Revenge is the theme behind this one that may have its origins in the previous book but there is enough of the backstory to this plotline to understand why King becomes the target of three killers.
Skyhorse makes for an interesting character from Indian legend, but here he’s very real and we, the readers, find out a little about who he really is – not that he’s sure himself. Confused? That’s all part of the intrigue of this story.
King riding to collect Nathan Berkley’s daughter is the opportunity the killers need to set their trap into which their victim all too readily rides. It’s this storyline that takes up most of the book and leads to some exciting, violent, action. Fear is also portrayed well when one of the killers sees Skyhorse and remembers the deadly tales of what befalls those who lay eyes on the mysterious rider.
John Ladd is a pseudonym used by the prolific author Michael D. George who writes westerns for Hale under a variety of different names. This book re-enforces why he has such a large following and if you haven’t tried his work yet then this could be the perfect place to start.
Skyhorse (A Black Horse Western) from Amazon UK