By James Clay
Hale, April 2015
When William Brookshire’s son goes astray, the wealthy Dallas business owner hires veteran tracker, Rance Dehner, to ensure he is brought home safely. There is only one catch; William is sure that his son Thad is the notorious criminal, The Lightning Kid.
Now in a race against time to reach the boy before others get to him first, Rance is tossed into a whirlwind of death and deceit as he tries desperately to rescue Thad and uncover the true identity of the Lightning Kid.
When I read James Clays’ previous Black Horse Western, Wild West Detective, which also featured Rance Dehner, I hoped he’d be back in another tale, and my wishes have been fulfilled with this book. Having said that for most of the story Dehner is a secondary character as this twisting tale centres on Thad Brookshire, a young man trying desperately to shake off the burden of being known as the Lightning Kid. He tries to do this by becoming a deputy but taking on this job plunges him into even more trouble.
It seems a dead man has clawed his way out of the grave a number of years after being buried there and is hell-bent on killing those who took his life, even if they did so in the name of the law. Dehner decides to help the lawman discover just how a dead man can rise and begin killing people and this is the storyline that takes centre stage of the book.
James Clay includes lots of intrigue that grabs hold of the imagination and refuses to let go as the reader struggles to understand just what is going on. There’s plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing and a shocking surprise waiting for the law and the reader that I didn’t see coming.
This is James Clays’ third Black Horse Western but only the second I’ve read, but on the strength of those two I can confidently say that this author is fast becoming a favourite.