Thursday 10 October 2013

The Return

By James D. Best
Wheatmark, 2013

It’s the summer of 1880, and Thomas Edison’s incandescent bulb is poised to put the gaslight industry out of business. Knowing a good business opportunity, former New York shopkeeper Steve Dancy sets out to obtain a license for Edison’s electric lamp. Edison agrees, under one condition: Dancy and his friends must stop the saboteurs who are disrupting his electrification of Wall Street.

After two years of misadventures out West, the assignment appears to be right up his alley. But new troubles await him in New York City. Dancy has bought a woman with him, and his high-society family disapproves. More worrisome, he has also unknowingly dragged along a feud that began out West. The feud could cost him Edison’s backing…and possibly his life.

This is the fourth book in James D. Best’s Steve Dancy series and once again Best proves that he has the ability to write fascinating and very entertaining stories. Real history mixes perfectly with fictional making you believe it could have happened like this.

There’s plenty of fighting action, some of which is done with unconventional weapons, but the confrontations I enjoyed the most were verbal, between Dancy, and/or his intended, taking on Dancy’s mother, some of the wit and put-downs had me grinning broadly.

The possible sabotage of Edison’s new industry and the feud Dancy brings with him make for two gripping storylines both of which offer their fair share of plot twists so you are never quite sure what direction the tale will take next. It’s the feud that leads to Dancy trying to manipulate a final showdown with his enemies that concludes in a tense gunfight that brought about a surprise in just who on Dancy’s side got shot.

The story is superbly paced and I found it very difficult to put down. Let’s hope James D. Best doesn’t keep us waiting too long for another Steve Dancy tale. 

1 comment:

Ron Scheer said...

Currently enjoying this one myself. You know you're in good hands with James Best.