By Harry Jay Thorn
Crowood Press, August 2016
Griffin Boone is happy in his Wyoming valley; he has his Arrowhead ranch, his close friends, a good stock of cattle and a job as a part time deputy sheriff in the county of Liberty. Boone has ridden through the battlefields of the Civil War, served throughout with John Bell Hood’s Texas Brigade, he has survived the horror of battle and found peace and solitude with a woman and a shared past. That long-ago trail they once unknowingly rode draws them ever closer together until their lives are threatened by Heck Thomas and his outlaw crew of gunfighters and vagabond thieves. Ride with Boone from the peaceful town of Liberty to the ruins of Glory, a ghost town in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains where past meets present in a blaze of gunfire. Griffin Boone is a quiet, unassuming man, a gentleman – but make no mistake, you cross him at your peril….
Harry Jay Thorn takes the unusual approach of writing this story in both the first and third person point of view. Thorn blends the two types of storytelling so smoothly I hardly noticed the switch from one to the other.
Most of the characters are likeable in some way, and that includes Thomas’ outlaw band – I did say most as it’s one of them, Huck Flynn who is the odd one out and it will be him who causes all the problems, including a falling-out among the outlaws that will see Boone determined to bring them to justice.
The book contains plenty of fast, bloody action and a few surprises too, including one at the end of the final showdown.
Harry Jay Smith is one of a number of pseudonyms Chris Adam Smith uses, alongside his real name, for writing his Black Horse Westerns and my collection contains quite of few of them. On the strength of this book I think it’s time I dug out some more of his work.
Black Horse Westerns are now available as both hardbacks and ebooks.