By Will DuRey
Crowood Press, August 2016
The stagecoach from the north has failed to arrive in the small settlement of Laramie, and when two men ride in fresh from a fight in the southern long-grass country, the inhabitants begin to fear that the rumoured unrest among the Sioux following the discovery of gold in the Black Hills has become reality. Their concerns are relayed to the nearby fort, where visiting wagon-train scout Wes Gray agrees to join an army patrol party sent to find the missing coach. Although doubtful that the Sioux have begun hostilities, he is compelled to investigate the matter for the safety of those travelling west in the nearby wagons, but the discovery of an empty coach is only the first step along a trail which includes murder, kidnapping and inter-tribal warfare, and subjects Wes to extremes of personal violence and humiliation.
This is the third in the Wes Gray series, a fourth is due out in November of this year. It is the first I’ve read about this scout but not the first book I’ve read by Will DuRey.
Not having realized the book was part of a series I found that the story read well as a stand-alone tale. What I took to be fleshing out of Wes Gray’s back story I can now see would be told in greater detail in the earlier books, and my enjoyment of this one certainly has me wanting to read those first two.
Fast moving and action packed, and including a number of how-will-he-get-out-of-that situations such as the humiliation and torture that Gray endures, the story definitely holds the readers’ attention from beginning to end.
DuRey has created a great set of characters in all the races you’ll encounter in this book, be they good or bad, male or female. When justice is delivered it could mean grave consequences for those left alive and Gray has to think fast for a solution that won’t see the plains erupt in an all-out bloodbath.
Once more Will DuRey has left me feeling thoroughly entertained and looking forward to his next book, which just happens to be the next in the Wes Gray series and that’s a story I’m looking forward to reading.