Tuesday 13 October 2015

The Gamblers of Wasteland

By Jim Lawless
Hale, September 2015

Convinced that Blackjack Chancer is behind the death of his youngest brother, Lukus Rheingold steals the Saturday night takings from the gambler’s Wasteland Eldorado.

Led by Marshal Jed Crane, the Wasteland posse is outwitted by Lukus’s surviving brother, Kris. The Rheingold brothers head for their home at Nathan’s Ford, where they are followed by a mysterious woman calling herself Lil Lavender, and later by Chancer and his hired gun, Fallon. All three have their own reasons for hunting Lukus Rheingold, and the hunt leads to a final bloody climax in the Rheingold family cemetery.

Jim Lawless is one of a fistful of pseudonyms used by John Paxton Sheriff and if anyone has read any of his previous books you’ll know the story won’t be as straight-forward as the blurb above might indicate, for the author always includes many plot twists and turns, many of which will take the reader completely by surprise. It’s these elements that makes Sheriff’s work such a joy to read.

Even as it becomes obvious Lil Lavender isn’t being exactly truthful we learn that Lukus Rheingold has a past that may become his downfall. In fact the lawmen he encounters seem more interested in arresting him than finding who has kidnapped his brother Kris.

Filled with plenty of action this story gallops towards its deadly finale, one that throws up yet more questions that have to be answered before Sheriff brings his tale to a close. Even then there is another surprise in waiting, and there is also a hint that we haven’t heard the last of some of the characters, that there could well be a sequel further down the line. I certainly hope so.

Hale must be complimented on their excellent cover choice.

1 comment:

Beryl's Bits said...

Hi, I'm trying to recall a western I read years ago and wonder if you can help? It opens with a man under attack form a small group of Indians. He survives, but they manage to kill his dog. The dog is a cranky oddball that has sort of adopted him. Though various confrontations with this group one Indian is obsessed with tracking him. Eventually he does and the final scene is where they confront each in a cave high in the mountains. For some reason they don't try to kill each other.
It was particularly well written as well as a cracking read. It's cover was atypical for the genre.

Hope you can help