By B.S. Dunn
Crowood Press, April 2016
It has become known as the Stone Creek Valley War, and for a time the land ran red with the blood of the innocents and killers alike. In the middle of it all stands a young man, Chad Hunter, against the murderous bunch called the Committee, trying to halt their takeover of his once peaceful home.
The Committee are the four biggest ranchers in the area, and to help them achieve what they want, they hire Slade Johnson and his cohorts to deal with those who refuse to bow to their demands. Then there’s ‘Killer Creel’, a cold-blooded murderer who has escaped from prison, and whose ultimate goal is to reap revenge upon Hunter.
The Committee had lynched his brother and shot his father down, so Hunter loads his guns and prepares to deal out his own brand of justice. With killers to his front and one closing in from behind, it may just be a war that Hunter can’t win.
From the opening chapter that sees Chad Hunter framed for cattle rustling this book held my attention as I had to see how, if at all, Hunter could succeed in his quest to destroy the Committee.
B.S. Dunn has created a great set of characters that will face-off with each other a number of times before the reason the Committee want to take control of the valley is revealed. This then leads to some desperate bluffs to bring them down.
‘Killer Creel’ makes for a terrific additional problem for Hunter and their showdown is as gripping as you’d hope it would be. But it’s the final confrontation between Hunter, the Committee and their hired killers that brings forth a shocking surprise that I certainly didn’t see coming that will make the ending stick in my mind for some time to come.
This is the first Black Horse Western by B.S. Dunn, a pseudonym used by Brent Towns, and what a superb introduction to his writing it is. I’ll certainly be looking out for his next book.