Sunday, 31 March 2019

The Scarlet Gun

By J.R. Roberts
Charter Books, September 1985

Lots of boys dream about being gunfighters, but when the kid brother of a pretty Irish woman picks up his six-shooter in earnest, Clint Adams is forced to get involved.

The Gunsmith is asked to find the boy and convince him to give himself up. But before he can that, Clint meets an incredibly beautiful young woman named Scarlet who is gunning for a rancher the kid has been hired to protect. Now, the Gunsmith’s good deed has drawn him into a dangerous crossfire – one from which he’ll be lucky to get out alive!

Like all Gunsmith books, this is an extremely fast read. It is dialogue driven and contains a twisting plot that moves forward at a rapid pace. The characters mentioned above are joined by a few others too, all with their own ambitions, and more than one dreaming of being the person who takes out the Gunsmith and thus enhancing their own reputations. As all the plot lines converge so does the readers anticipation for the final showdown that will see many of the leading characters facing off against each other.

The Gunsmith books are classed as an adult reading, which means they contain explicit sex scenes. This being one of the earlier books the reader will find a lot more of this type of action than in the later novels. The story starts with such an act, then the author lays out the plot, introduces the many characters and moves the tale towards the exciting final confrontation, all this takes up a good portion of the book. But, before guns are drawn in anger, the author inserts many more sexual encounters one after the other, not just for Adams but for one of the other main characters too. I’ll be honest and say I did find this a bit boring and speed-read these sections as I wanted to find out who would be left alive at the end, and whether Adams managed to keep the kid alive.

For followers of The Gunsmith series, this is a must read as one of the storylines seems to set itself up for a future book. Whether this happens I don’t know, but I certainly hope so and guess I will find out eventually as I aim to continue reading this series as time allows.

Long since out of print, Speaking Volumes has now re-issued The Scarlet Gun in book paper and ebook form.

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