Friday 22 April 2016

The Times of Wichita

By Bruce H. Thorstad
Pocket Books, April 1992

“You need more than a shotgun to ride the Chisholm Trail…” So said a grizzled, foul-smelling buffalo hunter in Newton, Kansas. But Wade Aubrey thought the man was just trying to scare him into buying a big Springfield rifle, and Wade had seen his fill of rifles in the war. He and his younger brother were going to Wichita to start a newspaper – and get ink on their hands, not blood.

But on the Chisholm Trail they began to learn: about a gunman named Harlow Taft who might be a friend; about an upstanding citizen named Bristol who might be an enemy; about a frontier town with laws of its own. Soon the Aubreys were in a fight that forced them onto the plains – on a wild, bloody buffalo hunt to raise some money for a new press. And before the Times of Wichita would see the light of day again, one of the brothers would be dead, the other on a hard trail of revenge…

Filled with excellent characters this gripping tale offers gunplay, political skulduggery, love and a touch of mystery. Wade Aubrey’s attempts to change things through the use of words, both spoken and written, seem doomed to failure almost from the start. Will he be able to resist resorting to the way of the gun?

Bruce H. Thorstad writes extremely well, his attention to detail adding many memorable observations to this story. He also effortlessly combines information about printing newspapers and buffalo hunting so smoothly they seem like a natural part of the story rather than a ‘how-to’ manual. Everything builds towards a tense and emotion driven final showdown that will have the reader guessing as to the outcome.

This is the first book I’ve read by Bruce H. Thorstad and it certainly won’t be the last.


Jo Walpole said...

I'll have a look for this, I think.

Oscar Case said...

"Political Skullduggery", "buffalo hunting", and "newspapers" makes this one intriguing.

Andrew McBride said...

I suspect that one of the inspirations for this story has to be BAT MASTERSON who was a buffalo hunter (at the famous Adobe Walls fight with the Comanches in 1874) a lawman and ended up as a journalist!