Sunday 31 May 2015


By Tell Cotten
Solstice Publishing, May 2015

Known for his outlaw ways, Lee Mattingly has hopes of changing his reputation when he becomes one of the owners of a new hotel. Business is good until Ike Nash, a man with money and power, takes all that Lee has. 

Lee only knows one way to respond, and that’s with violence. Along the way, Lee gets caught up in a robbery, a poker game, relationships, Huntsville prison, and revenge. 

The first book in this superb series that focuses on someone who isn’t a part of the Landon family. Lee Mattingly has crossed paths with the Landon’s most of his life and this story resolves some of the unfinished storylines from the previous books that tell of those encounters. Of course the Landon’s appear in this one too, as does real life gunman John Wesley Hardin.

Tell Cotten combines action, mystery, tense situations, excellent dialogue that is often laced with dark humour, and visual descriptions, in a very easy to read style that makes his books extremely difficult to put down before the end is reached.

I must admit that Lee Mattingly is one of my favourite characters in the series and here you do have to wonder how he can possibly regain ownership of the hotel as everything seems to have been taken from him perfectly with no legal loophole open to him. Many might give up and cut their losses but not Lee, he rises up to the task of getting back what is his.

There are many memorable scenes and dialogue exchanges in this terrific story such as this; 
“What’s the matter?” Brian asked from behind me.
“We’re two ex-jailbirds, wearing somebody else’s clothes, riding double on a blind horse. That is what’s the matter,” I said sourly, and added, “It can’t get any worse than this.” 
And I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that it sure can, and does.

Once more the book closes with a few new story threads left dangling thus ensuring I’m left eagerly looking forward to book 7 in the Landon Saga, They Rode Together, which should be released around October this year.

If you’ve yet to try Tell Cotten’s Landon Saga then let me urge you to do so, but I do recommend you start the series from the beginning as many storylines continue book to book.

Available in both paperback and ebook.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

.45-Caliber Left to Die

By Peter Brandvold
Mean Pete Press, March 2015

Cuno Massey is just passing through central New Mexico when he’s ambushed by town tamer, Lawton Briggs and three other men and one pretty but angry young woman, Stacey Ramos. Stacey is owner of the San Juan Valley Stage Line. The group thinks Cuno Massey is working for the notorious stage robber, Jack Salmon, who killed Stacey’s father. None of the men and Stacey will take no for an answer. Instead, intending to send Salmon and his gang a clear, brutal message, they strip young Massey naked, lay him out spread-eagle and tied to ground-sunk stakes, and leave him to die. 

Cuno is rescued by the beautiful ranch woman, Olivia Taffly, and her son, Hob. 

Now Cuno is back on the vengeance trail… 

To my counting this is the tenth .45-Caliber book and I for one am very glad Peter continues to write about Cuno Massey as he is probably my favourite character Peter has created a series around.

The book sees Cuno driven by a burning fury to kill those who have wronged him. This leads to rash decisions that Cuno later reflects weren’t the right choices to make so this needs to be set right too in a hail of bullets.

If you’ve yet to discover Peter Brandvolds’ writing then this tale contains all his trademarks; a fast moving plot filled with twists and turns, tough men and women, plenty of brutal action, and some explicit sex. All this combines to make this story an extremely entertaining read that leaves me looking forward to his next book.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

The Lightning Kid

By James Clay
Hale, April 2015

When William Brookshire’s son goes astray, the wealthy Dallas business owner hires veteran tracker, Rance Dehner, to ensure he is brought home safely. There is only one catch; William is sure that his son Thad is the notorious criminal, The Lightning Kid.

Now in a race against time to reach the boy before others get to him first, Rance is tossed into a whirlwind of death and deceit as he tries desperately to rescue Thad and uncover the true identity of the Lightning Kid.

When I read James Clays’ previous Black Horse Western, Wild West Detective, which also featured Rance Dehner, I hoped he’d be back in another tale, and my wishes have been fulfilled with this book. Having said that for most of the story Dehner is a secondary character as this twisting tale centres on Thad Brookshire, a young man trying desperately to shake off the burden of being known as the Lightning Kid. He tries to do this by becoming a deputy but taking on this job plunges him into even more trouble.

It seems a dead man has clawed his way out of the grave a number of years after being buried there and is hell-bent on killing those who took his life, even if they did so in the name of the law. Dehner decides to help the lawman discover just how a dead man can rise and begin killing people and this is the storyline that takes centre stage of the book.

James Clay includes lots of intrigue that grabs hold of the imagination and refuses to let go as the reader struggles to understand just what is going on. There’s plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing and a shocking surprise waiting for the law and the reader that I didn’t see coming.

This is James Clays’ third Black Horse Western but only the second I’ve read, but on the strength of those two I can confidently say that this author is fast becoming a favourite.