By Elliot Long
Crowood Press, April 2016
Mort Basset – the powerful owner of the Slash B ranch – thinks he and his men have got away with the killing of the Cadman family, when the corrupt Broken Mesa court finds them not guilty. But Basset and his men sound find that this is not to be. The men involved in the murders begin to be hanged or shot dead by an unseen avenger, and they soon find that the man they are after is a deal cleverer then they anticipated, and the killings continue. Where will it end?
I’ve only read a handful of Elliot Long’s thirty plus Black Horse Westerns and I’ve enjoyed them all. Tell Slash B Hell’s A’Comin’ certainly enforces my thoughts that Elliot Long is a writer worth taking the time to read.
The story begins with the Slash B dealing out what they see as range justice, even though their foreman, Jim Alston, tries to stop the killing and also fails to stop the murder of the rest of the Cadman family. Elliot Long then introduces a handful of other characters, all of whom are sickened by the fact that the court finds the Slash B crew not guilty of murder, and you’ll soon be wondering if one of them is the person avenging the Cadman’s deaths.
Elliot Long sure knows how to pace a story and I soon found myself unable to put the book down because of my desire to find out who the mystery killer was. The story is mainly told through Jim Alston but does occasionally switch to one or two of the other characters, such a lawman Talbot Dixon who’s doing his best to stop the assassination of the Slash B crew yet also seems to think, and support the fact, that they are getting nothing more than they deserve. Of course this line of thinking causes friction amongst the posse members which is a mix of townsfolk and Slash B riders.
As you read the story you might think you’ve worked out how the tale is going to end and it’s there that Elliot Long springs the biggest surprise of the tale that left me cursing and grinning and nodding in satisfaction that the book just couldn’t end any other way could it?
If you get the opportunity to read this book then don’t hesitate to do so and once you’ve finished it, like me, I'm sure you’ll be left eager to read more of Elliot Long’s work.