THE TRAILSMAN #391
By Jon Sharpe
Signet, May 2014
1861, the Arkansas swamp country – and the winds of war are in the air.
In the wilds of Arkansas swamp country, someone – or something – is on a killing spree. And the only things left behind are the victims’ heads. Fargo would rather just pass through and not get too involved. But there are some acts of savagery that cannot be ignored. And the Trailsman is about to face off against a killer unlike any he’s ever met….
This book is filled with tense situations as the main characters are often stalked by the killer who rips its’ victims heads clean off through pure brute strength. As if this gripping storyline isn’t enough to hold the readers’ attention, Jon Sharpe also combines it with the mission Fargo is on when he encounters the Night Terror. The Trailsman is delivering secret Union Army documents to an undercover general that must not fall into Southern hands as they contain vital information about the coming Civil War.
Fargo finds himself involved with a strange mix of characters of both sexes, none of whom he feels he can really trust, and in some cases these feelings prove to be justified. And even if you begin to think you know which way some of these wonderful characters are going to jump then Jon Sharpe throws in twist upon twist to completely throw you off track.
Descriptions of the swamp country are superb, as are the many action scenes, some of which are quite gruesome. Dialogue snaps off the page easily and often contains humour adding a touch of lightness to the darker tones of the Night Terror storyline.
Jon Sharpe, in this case David Robbins writing behind the pseudonym, smoothly brings both story threads together, that sees enemies joining forces in an attempt to deal with a much bigger foe. The final confrontation between all is as brutal as you’d expect and makes for a very memorable battle that reveals horrors of all kinds.
And is Fargo successful in seeing that the documents reach their destination? That I can’t say here, but I will add that the answer to that question makes for a great ending to an excellent book.