Tuesday 29 May 2012

Texas Tempest

By Jon Sharpe
Signet, May 2012

Skye Fargo can’t believe it when a French nobleman offers him a small fortune to guide him and his family through the dangerous wilds of west Texas. He also can’t believe that he actually accepts what might as well be a suicide mission. But if anyone can guide this greenhorn group of Gallic gawkers to hell and back, it’s the Trailsman….

Jon Sharpe has put together an excellent set of people for Fargo to guide, a right explosive mix of characters that are craving the excitement of the American West, the more dangerous the better for can they not hold their own against anything west Texas has to offer?

As if Comanches and enraged buffalo aren’t enough of a problem for Fargo to deal with, there are members of the French party who have taken a dislike to him, resent his presence - and there are the female twins who see him as a sexual conquest. Finally there is someone trying to kill him, the favoured weapon being poisonous darts. Soon suspicion falls on all members of the French family and their servants and this gives the book its mystery elements as Fargo attempts to figure out the who and why. The author, in this case David Robbins writing as Jon Sharpe, keeps that from the reader and through comment and deed puts many of the characters into the frame as possible culprits.

The book is full of action, snappy prose, and grin worthy sarcasm and put-downs as Fargo struggles to keep them all alive, and being this is a Trailsman book you just know that not everyone will survive the journey.

The conclusion offers some surprises to just who is involved in wanting Fargo dead and why. There’s a mass killing that I wasn’t expecting that leads to some horrific revelations about what the main killer wants and is perfectly capable of doing to achieve their aims. This person has to be one of the most cold-hearted killers to appear in a Trailsman book for some time.

Texas Tempest is a fast paced, entertaining read that once again leaves me eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Ride the Savage River

By Scott Connor
Hale, May 2012

It took Marshal Ellis Moore twelve years to clean up Empire Falls, and he was killed taking on the last of the gun-toters who had controlled his town. But at his funeral US Marshal Lincoln Hawk told his sons Daniel and Henry that all was not as it seems. Ellis had been on the payroll of Samuel Holdstock, who controlled Skull Bend from his steamboat, and who was now spreading his corrupting influence downriver.

Daniel and Henry vowed to expose the full truth. To do that they would need to infiltrate Samuel’s domain, spirit him away from his steamboat, and then deliver him to justice in Empire Falls. Even the formidable Lincoln Hawk reckoned their mission was doomed to fail, but to put right their father’s mistakes they would have to succeed.

The first part of this extremely fast paced book tells of the Moore brothers discovering the truth about their father and the uncertain future one of them has because of it. Lincoln Hawk says he can’t help them bring down Holdstock as he is tracking down a failed bank robber who he says is working for Holdstock. So the Moore brothers head off to Skull Creek with a very flimsy plan.

The story mainly follows the Moore brothers trail but also switches to Hawk and other characters every now and again. Of course all their paths bring them together about mid-story and then the tale becomes a roller-coaster ride of action.

Plans go wrong. The Moore’s and Hawk are captured by different people. Escape for the Moore’s seems impossible and one finds himself strapped to a revolving paddle wheel whilst the other has a very slim chance of saving his life, this scene provides some very tense and exciting reading. A bid for freedom sees the steamboat break free from its mooring and the final scenes are all played out aboard this drifting boat as both sides attempt to gain control.

Scott Connor doesn’t let up with the action from the moment the brothers are captured, which also adds a touch of mystery as to how Holdstock knew they were coming meaning there’s an informant to deal with too. Everything crashes together in a dramatic conclusion that violently brings about a satisfying close to the book.

Ride the Savage River proved to be a very entertaining read that left me looking forward to Scott Connor’s next book High Noon in Snake Ridge that hits the shelves in September 2012. 

Friday 25 May 2012

The Devil's Marshal

By Louis Masterson
WR Films Entertainment Group, Inc.
eBook, May 2012

Morgan Kane gunned down a bandit in New York, generating a lot of headlines. Kane didn’t like New York. He was wondering how much longer he could stand city life when a telegram arrived from his boss, suggesting he take some leave in Florida. It seemed that Henry Ziegler, the rich and eccentric oil king and railroad builder, needed help.

As Kane left the train at St. Augustine, he narrowly escaped being killed by a knife-thrower. And as he rode out to Ziegler’s plantation, the same assassin shot at him from behind a tree. When Kane heard Ziegler’s story, he began to realize the danger of his mission…

Louis Masterson takes Kane out of his normal hunting grounds in The Devil’s Marshal and has him experiencing new fears deep in the swamps of Florida where death can strike swiftly from the wildlife as easily as from humans. The strain of this new environment sees Kane lose his fragile grip on keeping his temper in check and he lets the homicidal psychopath that dwells deep within him emerge in a violent killing spree so he can complete this assignment at get back to the places he’s more comfortable.

Masterson has also created a superb adversary for Kane, a facially deformed killer named Indigo who has the appearance of the living dead, a man who matches Kane’s ability to draw a gun and may be faster…

The latter part of the book takes place at sea, aboard a ship as it attempts to deliver an illegal cargo. I’ve always thought Louis Masterson (real name Kjell Hallbing) had an excellent way with words when describing the beauty and threat of the sea, and he excels here, Kane’s attempt to stop the ship and the consequences make for some suspenseful and memorable reading. These dramatic closing scenes also include the final face-off between Kane and Indigo and as the dark waves washing over him, will Kane at last find the peace he craves in death?

Wednesday 23 May 2012


By Neil Hunter
ebook, Piccadilly Publishing, May 2012

Bodie was a bounty hunter, a legalized killer, a man alone. He was a survivor in a tough world where a gunman’s life depended on his ruthlessness and speed on the draw.

But Bodie didn’t kid himself about the glory of being a gunslinger. Killing was a trade and Bodie was for hire to anyone with enough money and desperation.

Yet there was one man who tried to take Bodie for a two-bit greenhorn. And Bodie wasn’t about to be taken …

Originally published in 1979 the Bodie books fitted in perfectly with the other extremely violent western series being written by UK authors. Unlike many of those series this one doesn’t begin with a first book that explains why their anti-heroes took up the gun. In Trackdown Bodie is already a bounty hunter, a man to be feared by those he hunts. His background is shrouded in mystery, although Neil Hunter hints at his past, his turning point having something to do with once being a lawman.

After Bodie dispatches three outlaws he’s hired to track down and kill another group of men and most of the book tells of his hunt and killing of them. The deaths are graphically described in all their gory detail, being told over lengthy paragraphs explaining just what each bullet or knife thrust does to the victim. Bodie kills without remorse and won’t let anything stop him in his quest.

Even though the story is essentially a bounty hunter tracking and killing his quarry the author adds a bit of mystery to the plot, as in why Trask has hired Bodie to kill Reefer and his gang, and why a seemingly innocent girl was killed and by whom. All this makes for a very fast moving story that is difficult to put down.

A comment about the cover series title, Bodie: this single word was all that appeared on the front of the original books, but the spine and title pages called the series Bodie the Stalker. The Stalker is a nickname Bodie is referred to a number of times during the story, which is why I’ve called the series Bodie the Stalker above.

Neil Hunter is a pseudonym used by Mike Linaker and an interview I did with him sometime ago can be found here, where you'll also find the covers of the original six books.

Piccadilly Publishing will be making the rest of the series available as ebooks soon and on June 1st launch Mike’s other western series, Brand, as ebooks too.

Piccadilly Publishing ebooks are priced very competitively, $1.99 or £1.27, so how can you not buy a copy today.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Fortress Palomino

By Michael D. George
Hale, May 2012

The cattle town of War Smoke was getting bigger as its grasslands filled with steers for the coming trail drives. Marshal Matt Fallen wired other law offices around the remote settlement for help in keeping his town peaceful until the drive moved north.

Kid Palomino and his sidekick, Red Rivers, heeded the call and rode in to help Fallen. When a dying sheriff rides into War Smoke to tell the pair that the notorious bandit, Santiago Del Rosa, has crossed the border with a small army of ruthless killers they don’t need telling twice to leap into action. Can Kid and Rivers stop Santiago before he and his bandits spill even more blood?

Even though I have a few in my collection, this is the first Black Horse Western I’ve read that this author has written under his own name (he writes BHW under at least seven pseudonyms too). Fortress Palomino is the fifth book in his Kid Palomino series.

This fast moving story is mainly about Palomino and Rivers attempting to stop Santiago as he cuts a bloody path described in all its gory detail, making this one of the most violently graphic BHW I’ve read. Chopped up bodies litter Santiago’s trail and no-one is safe from his insane quest; children, women, and men all fall victim and die in such horrific ways that Palomino is shocked by the brutality. But can two men make a stand against, and stop, thirty crazy killers? And what of the Indian who is shadowing the two lawmen? Who is he, and what is his intent?

Michael D. George also includes a secondary plot for Marshal Matt Fallen to deal with and the book moves back and forth between Fallen, Palomino, and Santiago at regular intervals. The final confrontation between the major characters is as savage and bloody as expected and even the land itself has a part to play in the outcome

On the strength of this book I don’t think it’ll be long before I pick up another Michael D. George western, and I’d have no hesitation in recommending it to those who like their books to be filled with graphic violence.

Fortress Palomino is officially released on May 31st but is available now.

Saturday 19 May 2012

.45-Caliber Cross Fire

By Peter Brandvold
Berkley, April 2012

Cuno Massey may be a federal fugitive, but he’s Deputy U.S. Marshal Spurr Morgan’s best chance to run down a gang of gunrunners. A wagon train of rifles, ammunition, Gatling guns, and dynamite was stolen by U.S. Cavalry deserters who intend to sell the weapons to a Mexican general waging war against Yaqui Indians.

To even the odds against them, Cuno and Spurr form an alliance with Ojos del Fuega – “Fire Eyes” – a Yaqui queen as savage as she is beautiful, and her band of renegades. With so much firepower and so many deadly players on the warpath, Cuno and Spurr know that they’re sitting atop a powder keg with a sizzling fuse…

Book eight in the Cuno Massey series begins shortly after the end of the previous book, .45-Caliber Desperado. The story opens in the middle of a deadly duel between Massey and a Yaqui brave. This fight leads to Massey and his companion running for their lives pursued by more warriors. One exciting action scene quickly following the other, and this is pretty much how the story plays out, each savage fight leading straight to the next.

Due to Peter Brandvold including Gatling guns amongst the stolen weapons gives him the perfect opportunity to increase the death toll as these early machine guns are used to devastating effect as all sides get to use them at some point during this fast moving and violent tale.

During one of the brief lulls between the bloodletting Massey ponders on his future that only seems to have a bleak and lonely outlook. Can there possibly be something on the horizon to give his life purpose? Until then he seems content to throw himself into every dangerous situation going without much of a care to his well-being. 

Peter Brandvold has created a wonderful selection of vicious characters for Massey to battle, from gunrunners, Federales, bandits and Yaqui warriors. And it’s not just tough men Peter writes about, Fire Eyes and other female characters are just as strong and capable when it comes to killing and surviving in the authors’ savage lands where life is cheap.

Once again we see the welcome return of Spurr Morgan (an aging lawman who is soon to star in his own series – the first book Rusty Spurr: The Last Lawman coming out in October), who instead of arresting Massey persuades him to fight on the side of the law which results in them facing massive odds that end in a double battle centred around a train that brings the book to a brutal and spectacular close. 

Thursday 17 May 2012

Against All Odds

By Hank J. Kirby
Hale, May 2012

He didn’t even carry a gun, it wasn’t necessary when he was so good with his fists. But after a fatal altercation with a proddy kid he began to see he was perhaps too good, especially as the boy had a mighty powerful father and brother who would be waiting for him when he was finally released from prison.

It seemed like the moment to start packing a gun – a very special kind of gun. He needed all the advantage he could get as he was only one man against many. Someone had to die to even up the odds.

Hank J. Kirby is a pseudonym used by prolific western author Keith Hetherington, a writer that has fast become one of my favourites in the genre. This book contains all the elements that make his work so entertaining; excellent characters, fast moving plots, plenty of gunplay, and lengthy fistfights. This story also has the added element of the unusual weapon, a Spencer-Bannerman slide-action shotgun.

The books’ hero, Ronan, finds himself on the wrong end of a vicious beating that finishes with his hand being pulverized by a rock. His hand is virtually useless after this and the shotgun becomes the only weapon he can use effectively.

The storyline is a twisting tale of revenge that becomes a pulse-pounding race to save a hostage that sees Ronan battling heavy odds in no prisoners taken situations.

Once more I found that this was another Keith Hetherington story that was very hard to put down before the end was reached, and, again, I was left eagerly looking forward to his next book.

Against All Odds has an official release date of May 31st, but it is available now from the usual Internet bookstores.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Midnight Rider

By Ralph Cotton
Signet, April 2012

Avrial “Rock” Rochenbach is a former Pinkerton detective who has found that the wrong side of the law pays better. But he may be in over his head when a thief named Andrew Grolin offers him fifty thousand dollars to help rob a U.S. Treasury Department freight car carrying a large amount of gold bullion. Problem is, Grolin’s gang doesn’t trust Rock, and most of them are just awaiting an opportunity to put a bullet in his back – once they have the gold.

Now Rock has to gain the confidence of some of the West’s most notorious outlaws to save his hide – while protecting his true identity as an undercover U.S. secret service agent….

Midnight Rider is a nickname given to Rochenbach as he prefers to work during the darkness of night. Rock makes for an intriguing hero, one who has to keep his true identity a secret from both friend and foe. Rock rides with, and fights, other equally as memorable characters, Giant and Casings being but two of them.

Ralph Cotton definitely knows how to pace a story, how to keep the reader hooked. There’s plenty of gun action as outlaws double-cross each other and Rock plays them against their comrades. As his dangerous game unfolds Rock gets caught sending secret messages and the reader has to wonder how he can escape with his life and his true mission still hidden and achievable.

There’s plenty of exciting and gripping action such as the gunfight involving a blind man, another being the train robbery itself. Ralph Cotton also writes some very tense scenes when Rock finds himself a prisoner of a group of soldiers, neither side quite believing that each is exactly who they say they are. There are also a couple of neat twists to the tale, and a touch of mystery as to the identity of the person who supplies the outlaws with information. 

As far as I know Avrial Rochenbach first appeared in Ralph Cotton’s previous book, one of his Will Summer’s series, Incident at Gunn Point. According to the back of that book, Midnight Rider is the first in a new series, and on the strength of this story I hope the series is set for a long run.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Piccadilly Publishing

Longtime Western fans and Amazon Kindle best-selling Western writers Mike Stotter and Ben Bridges have finally realized a long-held dream to bring back into 'e-print' some of the most popular and best-loved Western and action-adventure series fiction of the last forty years.

Series fiction, the most popular genre was always the Western, but it also encompassed war stories, tales of pillaging Vikings, life in the Roman arena and action-adventure set in the far-flung future, was at its most popular throughout the 1970s and 80s and is still fondly remembered and avidly collected by die-hard fans. Some books are now so hard to come by that it's not unusual for them to change hands for astronomical amounts.

"We got to know a number of the authors when we were teenagers," remembers Mike. "Although they mostly wrote Westerns, they often joked that they had never been further west than Piccadilly, in London's West End."

"It seemed such an obvious idea, to bring these books back in a new format for a predominantly new audience," says Ben Bridges, a.k.a. David Whitehead. "For years I had been scouring second-hand bookshops to rebuild my original collection, and everywhere I went I got the same response. 'If I could get my hands on Westerns, I could sell them. But you just can't get them anymore.'"

"It seemed like a ridiculous situation," adds Mike. "I have constantly heard that the Western genre is dead. Yet, through sales, I know we have a large Western readership out there and no-one is catering for them. So I suggested to Dave that maybe he and I ought to do something about it--and now here we are."

Thus Piccadilly Publishing was born. One of its aims is to bring back titles for new and old readers alike. Great care is taken over the production of each title, and each one has a specially-commissioned cover from Westworld Designs that recreates the feel of the originals, at the same time giving them a fresh and more modern look.

The first Piccadilly Publishing eBook--Trackdown, by Neil Hunter--is now available for download from Amazon's platforms in the UK, US, Spain, France, Germany and Italy, and more titles are set to follow over the next several months. There are plans to expand their availability on other electronic platforms. 
"We're adding authors and series to our catalogue almost every day," reports Whitehead. "Over the next year or so I think we'll surprise and delight our fellow fans with what we have to offer."

For further enquires email the editors at piccadillyp@yahoo.com

Keep upto date with their news at their blog.

Saturday 12 May 2012

Longarm and the 400 Blows

By Tabor Evans
Jove, March 2012

The 400th Longarm adventure.

In all his years as a lawman, Longarm’s been pistol-whipped, punched out, trampled, and shot more times than he can count – but his latest hangover may be the worst he’s ever felt.

Until he runs afoul of Anton Gardner…

Since he’s come to Fort Marion to extradite the prisoner Gardner – who robbed a military payroll and killed seven men – Longarm’s been attacked by cops with clubs, hurt by a blow to the head from Gardner’s lovely red-haired accomplice, shot in the ribs, and tossed in jail. And the hardest blow of all: Gardner’s escaped with his badge and is impersonating the lawman. One thing’s for sure…Longarm is not down for the count.

I’ve always been amazed that the publishers of the long running western series don’t make more of a fuss over reaching such milestones as the 400th book in their publishing history. Other than the book number shown on the cover there is nothing to announce this achievement. At one time ‘anniversary edition,’ or something similar appeared on the cover but these days nothing. 

The book itself is just a regular Longarm adventure that stands up well with other entries in the series. Perhaps reflects those from the earlier days of the series more than those I’ve read that have been published in the last few years, in so much as the plot is fairly basic with most of the story being taken up with one sexual encounter after another.

The story follows Longarm on his way to Fort Marion and during this journey he meets several women that he beds, and then he collects and loses his prisoner, during his pursuit of Gardner Longarm meets more women which leads to more sex. From this description long time readers of the Longarm series will see what I mean about the book being more like those early stories, which made the series very popular back then, enough so that we’ve now got the 400th regular sized book (there have been 28 giant editions published too).

I found the book to be very readable, its short chapters of three or four pages making it easy for me to keep saying that I’ll read just a couple more and before I knew it I’d reached the end. Descriptive passages are excellent and dialogue believable – even though Longarm is somewhat more foul-mouthed than many writers behind the pseudonym of Tabor Evans present him. Overall the book entertained and proved to be an enjoyable read. Roll on the next hundred!

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Twilight Trail

By Lance Howard
Hale, May 2012

When manhunter Teel Barsom brought in notorious outlaw Slade Heath he made a fateful mistake, one with tragic consequences that would destroy the new life he’d built with his young bride, and riddle his nightmares with guilt and loss.

Trapped in a world of whiskey and shame, Teel wants nothing more than to sink deeper into despair when a mysterious young woman abducts him from the saloon and offers him redemption – redemption he wants no part of.

But with salvation comes a price, one that may cost him and his kidnapper their lives.

Lance Howard’s thirty-third Black Horse Western is as strong as anything he wrote before, perhaps not quite a dark in tone, yet it still delves into the nightmare world of guilt. Much of the first part of this story shows how Teel Barsom becomes a hopeless drunk, seeing this as the only way to escape the consequences of his decisions.

The book is fast paced, building through a series of questions, mainly revolving around just who the young woman is that is eager to see Barsom sober up and why? What plans does she have for him? Barsom is also surprised to discover her excellent ability with a gun.

Barsom isn’t through making mistakes though and a couple of these lead to Slade Heath bringing forward his plans to finish off Teel. The story then moves up a gear and races towards an exciting and savage gunfight that ties up all the plot threads neatly.

Unless Hale have another book waiting to be published then this will be Lance Howard’s final western due to his passing earlier this year. The book includes a moving page of remembrance from his family.

Twilight Trail is officially released on May 31st, but can be ordered now from the usual Internet bookstores. 

Monday 7 May 2012

Morgan Kane: The Monster from Yuma

By Louis Masterson
WR Films Entertainment Group, Inc.
eBook, May 2012

“Five thousand dollars for Roy Zarco – dead or alive!”

In El Paso, Roy Zarco – a get-rich-quick speculator with an eye for the women – had been sentenced to twenty years’ hard labor for theft and murder. At the time he swore vengeance. Now, eight years later, he’d escaped from the chain gang at Yuma State Prison. These years had brutalized Zarco – had made him more an animal than a man. He was making his way east, and already four people he’d encountered lay dead.

Kane’s brief was simple. He was to go to El Paso and await the arrival of the Monster from Yuma…

This story begins shortly after the previous book, Pistolero, ended. Kane, still saddened by the loss of the girl, has turned to the bottle for comfort. He’s also beginning to doubt his ability, fearing he’s losing his nerve. These are themes Louis Masterson will return to time and again throughout the series as the strains of the job begin to take their toll on Morgan Kane. Something that for me is a large part of the appeal of this series, hell, Kane even sheds some tears in this story – how many other westerns heroes do you witness suffering in this way?

Kane may be the lead character but this time the story follows the trail of The Monster from Yuma more or less equally. Masterson tells of how Roy Zarco became this monster. Kane’s investigation into the background has him wondering whether Zarco ever was guilty of murder.

Masterson again peoples his book with memorable characters and in this story the female leads stick in the mind the most. One, although talked about, we don’t meet until near the end, but it’s she that will have the most impact on Kane, and provides the powerful, bitter, sting-in-tail. A strong ending indeed.

This book is essential reading for those following the Kane series, due to the cracks beginning to appear in Kane’s soul.

The Morgan Kane books are now available at www.kobobooks.com as well as the usual places such as iTunes and Amazon.

Friday 4 May 2012

Mountains of No Return

By Jon Sharpe
Signet, April 2012

The Mountains of No Return, 1861 – where death lurks around every bend in the trail.

Skye Fargo signs on to scout for the army, not to run down a bunch of AWOL soldiers. However, Luther Mace and company aren’t made for the military, but for mayhem and murder. And they’re riding hard to a place no man with any saddle sense would want to go: the Mountains of No Return. But the Trailsman is aiming to make this ride a round-trip.

Jon Sharpe presents the reader with what seems like a straight-forward track down and capture or kill a bunch of deserters story. But this is a Trailsman novel and readers of these books will know there will be more to the tale than that, particularly as the author writing as Jon Sharpe this time is David Robbins.

Teamed up with an elderly scout and a gambler the trail leads into the mountains and a run in with a small band of Utes. One of Fargo’s companions takes an arrow so they hightail it to a valley in which live the puma clan. It’s here that the story begins to get more involved and Fargo’s suspicions begin to grow.

There is plenty of action as Fargo attempts to find the deserters and uncovers a more deadly conspiracy, along with mass graves. Even though Fargo and the reader have a good idea as to what is going on, David Robbins has another surprise waiting at the end that I didn’t see coming.

The darker tones of the story and violent scenes are balanced with lighter moments of humour, most often in the form of sarcastic dialogue, but one of the best for me comes from California Jim when he explains just what kind of man he believes Fargo to be.

Mountains of No Return is an entertaining, fast moving story, that has left me eagerly looking forward to next months entry into this overall excellent series.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Sundown at Singing River

By Ty Kirwan
Hale, April 2012

Recognizing that the era of his profession has ended, gunfighter Jorje Katz rides into the town of Singing River to begin a new life. On arrival he discovers that the partner he had financed is long dead, and with no money to his name, his only option is to become a hired gun in a war that is raging between two political factions in the town.

Dragged back into his old ways, but with a woman to remind him just how good life can be, he despairs until he is appointed Sheriff of Singing River. At last it seems that his dreams can finally be realized….

Looking at this book you’d be forgiven for thinking this is the first Black Horse Western to carry the author name of Ty Kirwan as Hale haven’t listed any others. In fact this is Kirwain’s sixth BHW, the previous book being published way back in June 2001. Why the big gap? I have no idea, as I haven’t any knowledge of this author, other than seeing somewhere that Ty Kirwan is a female writer.

The story is told over ten chapters, each of these being broken down into short scenes that swap between the characters, and these scenes often end on a cliff-hanger making it difficult to put the book down until that problem has been resolved…only thing is these usually lead to yet another dangerous decision or situation….

The book is well written and moves forward at a fast pace. Character studies are well done and made me want to find out what happened to them. Kirwain doesn’t believe in giving her hero an easy time as he gets shot and beaten a couple of times. There’s plenty of gunplay as Katz tries to keep control of the deadly situation. As if the power struggle between the two political sides isn’t enough for Katz to deal with, he also becomes the centre of attention for two strong willed women, each seeing him as husband material, and jealousy adds to Katz problems.

Ty Kirwan’s book falls into the category of being one of the longer BHW, and it needs to be so the tangled plot can run its course without feeling rushed. Overall I found this book to be an enjoyable read and can only hope it isn’t another eleven years before Ty Kirwan’s next book appears.