Friday 13 July 2012

The Silent Partner

By Marcus Galloway
Berkley, October 2008

Caleb Wayfinder is down on his luck. When he partnered up with the infamous gambler Doc Holliday, he hoped to see his fortunes rise, not find himself in the unenviable position of tossing drunks and deadbeats out of a saloon in the bustling town of Deadwood.

So when Creek Johnson offers him an equal share in a gold claim in exchange for watching his back, Caleb agrees – only to run afoul of Johnson’s double-crossing partners and their boss, Dave Rudabaugh. When the gun smoke clears, Caleb finds himself arrested for murder by townsfolk eager to string him up.

But Deadwood’s bloodthirsty citizens didn’t reckon on Doc Holliday taking matters into his own hands to save his friend…

The third, and sadly the last, of The Accomplice books is every bit as good as the previous two. Caleb Wayfinder and Doc Holliday are superbly thought out characters and the story, although fictional, is based around real events in Holliday’s life.

The above blurb is only the beginning of the story as once Holliday frees Wayfinder the pair leave Deadwood fast. Splitting up, the tale then follows each of them in turn until events bring them back together as Rudabaugh believes they owe him and is determined to make them pay and they need to join forces to deal with him.

One of Rudabaugh’s men, Samuel, further complicates matters, as you are never quite sure whether he has his own agenda or not. He’s definitely behind a number of attempts on Holliday’s life.

Marcus Galloway writes extremely well, and like other books of his, I found this one hard to put down. There’s always plenty going on to hold interest including tense scenes of poker and lots of gun action. This story also sees the first meeting of Holliday and Wyatt Earp, and brief as it is proves to be a memorable element of the tale, which for me makes it a shame the series didn’t continue any further.

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