MORGAN KANE #12
By Louis Masterson
Originally published in Norway, 1967
‘General Garranza has stated officially that the revolt will be crushed if every tree in Sonora has to bear a bandit’….
In Sonora, Mexico, a revolution was taking place. It started in a small way – and then it gathered speed. Villages were plundered and troop trains ambushed. The rebels, it was rumoured, were being supplied with arms smuggled across the border. And this is where Morgan Kane was called in. In a dusty one-horse-town in Arizona, he discovered one of the main sources of the contraband ammunition – in the charge of a wicked, greedy old man….
When we first meet Kane he is suffering, trying to drown the pain that tears at his soul in alcohol. Hurt and anguish that have battered his being during his last two assignments in particular. Louis Masterson seems to enjoy tormenting his hero, but in this story he doesn’t add to Kane’s mental distress – although he does take some physical blows from both friend and foe. This tale is much more of a straight-forward western that is packed with bloody action and sees Kane struggle with where his loyalties lie.
One of Masterson’s strengths is describing landscapes, he paints such vivid imagery with his choice of words and these place the reader right there with his characters, sharing the beauty, heat and harshness of Sonora.
The story contains a couple of neat twists too that will see Kane riding towards certain death without a weapon to defend himself against hopeless odds. Something that will have you wondering how he can possibly emerge from this deadly situation in one piece. Kane’s fear and near panic is written so well you can almost see his sweat oozing from the pages.
The book concludes with a terrific battle as the rebel army launch an attack on a fort, which brings this tale to a violent end. The final lines of the story will definitely have readers wanting to find a copy of the next book in the series to discover just what horrors Kane will have to face next.