Thursday 17 February 2011

The Trailsman #352

By Jon Sharpe
Signet, February 2011

The badlands of Texas, 1861 – where death is a heartbeat away.

When Fargo comes across five wagons and a mess of corpses, he gets caught up in a mission to rescue four young ladies from being attacked by rampaging Comanche warriors. The stakes are high, because one of the girls is the daughter of a maniacal army colonel. But when the Trailsman discovers the horrible truth behind the bloodshed, he is forced to face off against friend and foe alike….

This book starts off like a straightforward western storyline of an Indian massacre and then of freeing their captives. But this is a Trailsman tale, and long-time readers of this series know things will change rapidly.

Here we have a Colonel who doesn’t want to head out to find his daughter, would prefer for someone else to do it. Why? Then there are the captives themselves, these girls coming over as the worst characters of all, one being particularly evil. Makes you wonder if they deserve rescuing.

The book is filled with gritty action, quite brutal at times. Fargo dishing out some savage treatment, such as the finger shooting incident – not that the victim of this doesn’t deserve it. The dialogue is equally as tough, often injected with bittersweet humour. Fargo’s control of his temper is pushed to the limit as he attempts to return the girls to the safety of the fort – somewhere not all want to go.

It isn’t long before Fargo wants to dish out some vengeance of his own, over the simple crime of having his guns stolen and wanting to retrieve them. This leads to a dramatic and violent final shoot-out that sees Fargo taking on a number of foes single-handedly.

Once again the author (in this case David Robbins writing as Jon Sharpe) has produced a Trailsman book that fans of his, and this series, should not miss.

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