Friday 29 October 2010

Longarm and the Railroad War

as by Tabor Evans
Jove, October 2010

(Giant Edition #28)

Just when the West seems peaceful enough for Longarm to take a much needed respite, duty calls. Railroad baron Clayton Abernathy is laying down a railroad line in Wyoming, but someone in the town of Rimfire is making trouble for him. Wary of the greedy Clayton, Longarm must help – and Clayton’s daughter makes it worth his while.

Longarm befriends the brother and sister owners of Rimfire’s stagecoach line – the suspected saboteurs. But they’re being attacked, too. Who are these masked bandits bent on ruining business and hindering progress? If Longarm can pull himself away from the succulent ladies on both ends of the dispute for long enough, he’s going to issue these outlaws a one-way ticket to hell…

I closed my review of the last Longarm Giant with these words ‘….finishes the book with a final line that will leave you wondering what lies in store for Deputy U.S. Marshal Custis Long in the future’ and as I hoped this story carries on from there. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous giant before this as Longarm and the Railroad War is a self contained novel and you don’t need to know what happened before to follow, and enjoy, this storyline.

Like the last four giant editions this one sees Long teaming up with the heroes of another western series, namely Jessie Starbuck and Ki from the Lone Star series, both of whom have appeared in other giant Longarm adventures. You’ll have read nearly half the book before they are introduced and this time they seem to find themselves on the opposite side of the dispute to Longarm.

The story is very fast moving and filled with action of more than one kind – after all Longarm is an adult series. The tale is told in an extremely readable style which includes and number of cliff-hanger scene endings that make the book virtually impossible to put down before the exciting conclusion, part of which is a gripping and breathtaking race against time.

I’d have been surprised if I didn’t find this book to be an excellent read though, as it was written by one of the best western writers working today, James Reasoner.

I’m going to end this review with a look at the cover. Forget the profile of Longarm and look at the two figures. How many times can they be used on these books? Check out one of the other Longarm Giants (Longarm and the Unwritten Law) to see what I mean. At least this pose hasn’t been as overused as some of the others that are constantly turning up on Longarm covers. I guess cut-and-paste is faster to do than painting a new picture but surely Miro, Jove, it’s about time for a change?  


brokenarrow said...

I haven't read this one yet but am looking forward to doing, as I've thoroughly enjoyed the previous "team-ups" with the Lonestar duo. I also agree with the writer of this review-the covers are seriously lacking in effort..

Teutonic Terror said...

Isn't Longarm and the Railroad War the 29th entry in the Giant series?

Steve M said...

As far as I know it's the 28th, as there are only 29 Giant Editions. Here's my list of the giants in order (the numbers are mine as the books don't have numbers on them). If you know of any others, then please let me know.

Longarm Special/Giant editions
1. Longarm and the Lone Star Legend - Aug. 81
2. Longarm and the Lone Star Vengeance - July 83
3. Longarm and the Lone Star Bounty - Feb. 84
4. Longarm and the Lone Star Rescue - June 85
5. Longarm and the Lone Star Deliverance - Feb. 86
6. Longarm and the Lone Star Showdown - Aug. 86
7. Longarm and the Lone Star Mission - Feb. 87
8. Longarm and the Lone Star Frame - Oct. 88
9. Longarm and the Lone Star Rustlers - Aug. 90
10. Longarm and the Lone Star Captive - Aug. 91
11. Longarm and the San Joaquin War - Aug. 92
12. Longarm and the Navaho Drums - Aug. 93
13. Longarm and the Santee Killing Grounds - Aug. 94
14. Longarm and the Unwritten Law - Aug. 95
15. Longarm and the Lusty Lady - Aug. 96
16. Longarm and the Calgary Kid - May 98
17. Longarm and the Danish Dames - Jan. 99
18. Longarm and the Blue-Eyed Squaw - Jan. 00
19. Longarm and the Hangman's Daughter - Jan. 01
20. Longarm and the Contrary Cowgirls - June 02
21. Longarm and the Deadly Dead Man - June 03
22. Longarm and the Bartered Brides - Oct. 04
23. Longarm and the Undercover Mountie - Dec. 05
24. Longarm and the Outlaw Empress - Nov. 06
25. Longarm and the Golden Eagle Shoot-Out - Oct. 07
26. Longarm and the Valley of Skulls - Oct. 08
27. Longarm and the Lone Star Trackdown - Oct. 09
28. Longarm and the Railroad War - Oct. 10
29. Longarm and the Ambush at Holy Defiance - Feb. 13

Teutonic Terror said...

Interesting. I'm assuming that you got that list from Wikipedia - however, the Amazons in the US, UK and Canada (where I live), all have the Railroad War pegged at entry number 29.

Steve M said...

Not off Wikipedia, but from the books themselves. I own all the Longarm books, regular size and giants. There's always been some false info on the Internet about a missing book, as people think there was a giant every year, but you can see from the publishing dates that this wasn't so.
Jove was the culprit for wrong number listings, as some of the Longarm books list giants and numbered them wrongly - I presume the typesetter got it wrong. Many Internet listings have used these numbers so there has been a mystery surrounding a supposed missing giant. There's no mystery, it was just wrong numbering. If there was another book, I've never seen it, nor has anyone else. I think people believe there should have been a giant published in 1997, but there wasn't.

Teutonic Terror said...

I see. Amazon search results are too chaotic to get a proper numbering. The Kindle section makes an attempt to organize series entries sequentially, but for plenty of series there are gaps, and Longarm is one of them. The Giant series on Kindle has #26 and then jumps to "#29".

Thanks for your authoritative answer! You are truly a resource.