Sunday, 22 June 2014

Incident at Confederate Gulch

By Ethan Harker
Hale, June 2014

When 17-year old Tom Hogan’s sister is offered a job at a theatre in the mining town of Diamond City, Montana, he little realizes that his twin is in danger of being drawn into a life of prostitution. When he discovers the truth, the young man sets off to rescue her.

But his journey leads him into the underground world of gambling dens and hurdy-gurdy houses. His plans go awry and unwittingly he becomes involved in the break-up of a gang of opium smugglers. He also learns that being a real man means a good deal more than just carrying a gun or winning at a Faro table.

Ethan Harker is a pseudonym, one of a fistful used by Simon Webb, and is the second tale I’ve read by him. Like the previous book I found he has a style all of his own that took a little getting used to, for instance it’s like there is someone watching over the storyteller who will jump in and explain something every now and again.

The plot is straight-forward and has regular bursts of violence. What I enjoyed the most was seeing how Tom Hogan’s visions for his future changed due to the different situations he has to deal with and the conflict this creates within himself, and whether destiny will give him the option of choosing one path or the other after saving his sister – if the latter is possible.

The author inserts a lot of interesting information about the opium trade and the law’s attempts to close it down, a battle that continues until this day, so this part of the plot is something that today’s readers can all too easily relate to.

Once used to the author’s style the book is a fast, easy read that has a neat twist at the end which brings the story to a satisfying close.

Incident at Confederate Gulch has an official release date of June 30th but is already available from the usual Internet bookstores.

*Please note that if searching for this book at Amazon they've spelt the title wrongly (see below).

1 comment:

AC said...

One of the more unusual Black Horse westerns. Several unexpected deaths and twists plus a fast pace make this one a pageturner.