Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Love and Cold Steel

By David Robbins
Mad Hornet Publishing, December 2018

The heart wants what the heart wants.

Evelyn King yearns to get hitched. Eager for her dream to come true, she won’t let anything stand in her way.

But the frontier has many dangers. Killers and hostiles and beasts abound.

As Evelyn is reminded when she and the man she loves run into a pack of two-legged wolves…and something far worse.

At last another Wilderness book has appeared, two years after the previous title, The Avenger. Since Leisure Books closed David Robbins has been publishing new Wilderness books under his own name rather than the pseudonym of David Thompson.

How I tried to read this book slowly, to savour every word, every scene, but my ambition failed miserably as each short chapter ended with a question or cliff-hanger that made it virtually impossible to put the book down as I just had to know what happened next.

Love and Cold Steel could be described as two separate storylines running parallel to each other – Evelyn and Dega’s dangerous travail to reach Bent’s Fort and hopefully find a preacher to marry them, and the tale of a wagon train and it’s guide, Quay, to solve the mystery of his gruesome discoveries that threaten all the travellers lives – although you know at some point these gripping tales are going to converge in some way that will intensify the already deadly situations the main characters find themselves in.

Fans of the Wilderness series, and/or David Robbins writing style will know what to expect in the way the story is told; the how are they going to get out of that scene endings already mentioned, the endless struggle of man and women to understand each other which often results in laugh-out-loud moments, the witty dialogue which again left me grinning much of the time, the desperate savage fights to survive – both against man and beast – which are vividly written and plotlines that will keep you guessing to the end.

Wilderness 70 might have been a long time coming but it certainly lived up to my expectations and I believe it should be enjoyed by all western fans, especially those who like the mountain man era. All I can hope is that David Robbins doesn’t keep us waiting quite so long before he gives us another instalment in this excellent series.

1 comment:

Katt said...

Great review Steve, couldn’t be said better. I’ve always loved David’s writing style and how he keeps the reader hooked. There were no lulls in the action or storyline.

I liked being savvy to Quay’s, the wagon master’s thoughts in trying to solve a most gruesome ongoing mystery.

The dialogue between Dega and Evelyn kept me grinning even though their straights were more often than not dire!

Like you, I hope to read more sooner than later.

Again, your reviews are right on!!!