Friday 8 April 2011

.45-Caliber Widow Maker

By Peter Brandvold
Berkley, May 2009

Cuno Massey is determined to start a new, peaceful life. But when he comes across a prison wagon under attack, he can’t just ride on. A gang of outlaws is hell-bent on granting four hardened convicts an early release, and with the only other lawman down, the marshal is badly outnumbered.

Dispensing frontier justice from the barrel of his Colt .45, Cuno does his best to even the odds and keep the murderous animals where they belong – in their cage. But the trail is long, and the gang is relentless. Looks like Cuno has just signed on for the ride of his life.

This book is full of brutal characters, even the women are hard-as-nails and add to the challenges Cuno will have to overcome if he’s to survive this mission he sets himself after doing his best to stay out of it. Unfortunately Cuno is still a little too trusting of the fairer sex and this could lead to his downfall. It definitely leads to a tale full of savage action that never lets up from the opening sequences to the final bloody gunfight.

Peter Brandvold, in my opinion, is one of the western writers working today that fans of the genre should not overlook. Granted his work maybe a little too violent for some, as he doesn’t shy from graphic descriptions of death, but don’t let that put you off as you’ll be missing out on some superb storytelling that grips from the word go.

The book is filled with terrific characters such as Fuego, and the outlaw girl Johnnie – the latter of whom you have to wonder if she and Cuno will become an item, something I’m not going to reveal here.

Peter Brandvold sure doesn’t believe in giving his heroes an easy ride either, here the odds facing Cuno are massive – four prisoners just looking for a chance to escape and kill him in the progress, and the large band of outlaws out to free the captives – odds that are surely impossible to take on and win? All this makes for one very exciting read that has left me eager to read the next book in the series.

I’ll finish by saying that I think .45-Caliber Widow Maker has to be the best book in the Cuno Massey series so far.


Tom Roberts said...

Pete's characters--Sheriff Ben Stillman, Rogue Lawman Gideon Hawk, Bounty Hunter Lou Prophet, .45 Caliber Cuno Massey, Yakima Henry and Colter Farrow--are each like old friends whenever they make a new appearance.

All of Pete's books are good reads. I highly recommend his work--both under his own name and his Frank Leslie penname--to anyone wanting a ripping Western read.

Tom Roberts
Black Dog Books

wayne d. dundee said...

Add my two cents' worth to the praise for Peter Brandvold's work. You can always count on him for a gritty, rip-roaring yarn filled with colorful characters and lots of action --- both the blazing-gun kind and also the kind that comes from encounters with sexy damsels. Top-shelf stuff for your Western library.

Matthew P. Mayo said...

I agree--Peter Brandvold's writing is among the most engaging I've come across, no matter the genre.

Duane Spurlock said...

Every Brandvold novel I've read has been fast-moving, violent, entertaining. And I'm including those published under the Frank Leslie pseudonym, too.

Kit Prate said...

That's my boy! An ideal real-life day for me would be the telephone shut off, no internet access (so addictive) and a stack of Pete's books at my right elbow.

And maybe a couple of cold beers.