Wednesday 8 April 2015

The Bronco Trail

By John Benteen
Piccadilly Publishing, March 2015

Originally published 1973

They were called the Tucson Ring, and they were a group of greedy businessmen who were getting fat on keeping the Indian Wars alive in Arizona Territory. One of their plans was to keep Geronimo on the loose by supplying him with whiskey and ammunition. 

But General George Crook had a plan to stop them, and Jim Sundance was the most important part of it. 

His orders – to go to Arizona, find out who was selling whiskey and guns to Geronimo, stop them any way possible … and bring Geronimo in for good.” 

It was a tall order. But if anyone could bring it off, it was the man they called Sundance. 

Most of the Sundance books are based on historical fact and this one deals with the surrender of Geronimo, although this story is mainly about stopping the whiskey runners, and it’s this gang that Sundance must infiltrate, and then, when the time is right, stop them dead.

Nearly all the main characters actually lived, including the leader of the whiskey runners, Bob Tribolet. There have been many books that deal with Geronimo’s surrender and what I found refreshing about this one is that the author decided to concentrate on people other than Geronimo for his story. In fact Geronimo only appears near the end.

John Benteen (Benjamin Haas) tells his tale in a hard-boiled style, pulling no punches as the story races to its harsh ending. Along the way Sundance has to make some difficult choices, among them whether to help the Army bring in Geronimo. There is plenty of tough action described superbly in all its savagery; not least a very visually written knife fight.

If you’ve yet to read a Sundance book then this would be a great place to start.

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