Sunday, 1 June 2014

Cougar Tracks

By Owen G. Irons
Hale, May 2014

Carroll Cougar is a quiet, peaceful man living at home on his small ranch on Twin Creek after years of scouting for the US Army. But sometimes you can’t leave trouble behind. And, when a letter arrives from General Crook, signed by the President, who is fighting Apaches in the West, informing him that a coalition of Apaches, Comanches, white Americans and even some European forces are gathering, hoping to take the entire Southwest, it seems like one of those times.

Coupled with the information that one of the leaders of this new group is one Solon Reineke, the man who killed the only woman Cougar ever loved, he knows the opportunity cannot be shrugged away. He might have been able to ignore the President’s call to duty, but not the temptation to hunt Reineke. He must track the killer down and finally finish their blood grudge.

During the past few months it seems Hale are publishing longer and longer books, and this is one of the longest yet. They still have the same number of pages, just much smaller print and more lines per page. 

Cougar makes for a superb lead character, a tough man haunted by bad memories. Yet, as the story progresses, glimpses of his caring side are revealed. During his journey to find Reineke he finds himself riding with old friends and new, all of whom might be hiding dangerous secrets. And what of the various groups of trailing riders? Who are they and what do they want?

Owen G. Irons has long been one of my favourite Black Horse Western writers and with this book he has presented the reader with a fascinating storyline full of twists and turns. All the main characters are explored in depth making you want to discover more about them, find out what happens to them, confirm your suspicions about some of them. Which is just as well, as like the best serials this book leaves a number of threads hanging, left me cursing (in the best way possible) that you can’t end the book like that! Which lead me to discover that a follow up book, Cougar Prowls, will be released in October, and now I’m wishing my life away as that seems a long time to have to wait to see how this excellent tale continues.

Cougar Tracks
Cougar Tracks at


owen g. irons said...

Just read Steve M's review--was wondering if the whole world caught the fact that as Hale decided COUGAR TRACKS was too long, it was requested that I cut it in half. The result was inevitably somewhat clumsy.
Steve, I hope the cursing wasn't too personal. It was not my choice. The first section of COUGAR PROWLS is the same book. more material was added to bring this book's length up--Owen G. Irons

Steve M said...

Regards the 'cursing' - not personal in any way, just as I do when a TV series ends and leaves you with a cliff-hanger, ensuring you'll have to watch the next episode or series. How series should be me thinks :)

Intersting to read the book was originally intended to be a stand-alone.