Sunday 18 December 2011

Range War

By Jon Sharpe
Signet, December 2011

All Skye Fargo wants is to get to Dallas and reunite with a lovely lady. But when he rides through Hermanos Valley, he heads into a war zone. For generations, sheepherders have raised their flocks on the fertile land. Now powerful cattle drivers are staking out the valley as their own – and they’ve got the guns to back up their claims. But they’re not about to pull the wool over the Trailsman’s eyes.

The Guadalupes, New Mexico, 1859 – where lonely summits loom over a forbidding land of the lawless.

Reading the above blurb, taken from the back of the book, you might think this is going to be your typical range war type novel, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes there is a range war brewing but that is just the backbone to the story…

Something is indiscriminately tearing the throats out of sheep, cattle, and human beings. It’s this creature that Fargo agrees to hunt down and exterminate, and in the process manages to make enemies on both sides.

It’s during the many attempts to trail the creature that becomes known as The Hound, that the author piles on the suspense, as the hunters become the hunted. Fleeting glimpses of The Hound and the tracks it leaves paint an image of an animal unlike any other Fargo has come across.

The author – in this case David Robbins writing as Jon Sharpe – really builds up the tension in nail-biting scenes that kept me glued to the pages, making this a very difficult book to put down. Not just my need to discover what The Hound really was kept me reading, but my wanting to know whether the sheepherders or cattlemen would eventually claim the valley – if any of them were left alive to do so by the end.

The book is peopled with great characters, such as Carlos. The dialogue crackles, and at times is superbly sarcastic, which makes for some very humorous comments. Descriptions are vivid and at times quite brutal, and the action comes thick and fast. All this makes for a Trailsman book not to miss.

Range War also introduces readers to a new cover design. 


Anonymous said...

Steve, Thank you for your kind review. Range wars have been done 'so' many times. I wanted to avoid the cliches. From your review, sounds like the story kept you entertained. :) David

Oscar Case said...

Nice review. I'm afraid I haven't re read these, although they sound exciting.