By Jake Douglas
Hale, July 2015
Clint’s only wish is to transform the Delta Ranch where he lives into a home, so that he can settle down peacefully with his wife-to-be, Belle Camden.
All is going smoothly until Clint witnesses a brutal murder. The killer tries to lie his way out of it, but Clint is not the lying type. When threats don’t work, the killer takes Belle hostage. All Clint must do is admit he’s made a mistake – forget what he’s seen, move on – and his fiancée will be returned to him unharmed.
In a situation that goes against Clint’s every moral code, in the end the choice can only be decided by gunsmoke – and blood.
Jake Douglas is one of a handful of pseudonyms used by Keith Hetherington for his Black Horse Westerns and this one confirms why he’s had such a long career writing for this line and other publishers, having around a thousand westerns published to date. You can read an interview I did with him here.
As for this book, it is a very fast moving read full of action – fistfights, gunfights, and duels of words. In fact the tense exchanges of dialogue provide most of the ‘how-can-they-get-out-of-that situations, as any plan Clint and lawman Si McLaren have seems to be bettered by the man they are attempting to bring to justice at every turn.
The taking of Belle hostage, a dangerous situation in itself is made even more deadly when there’s a disagreement between the killer, Forbes, and his right-hand man Hank, a man who wants nothing more than to kill both Clint and Belle, and it soon looks like he’s going to achieve his aim.
The story ends with a breath-taking struggle that brings everything to a neat and satisfying conclusion that left me eager to pick up another Keith Hetherington book straight-away.
Mention must also be made of the excellent cover Hale have selected to front this book.