By Paxton Johns
Crowood Press, August 2016
English aristocrat Born Gallant is riding to Dodge City to meet up with old friends, when he is attacked and left to die. Initially relieved when rescued by a lawman and his posse, Gallant’s fortunes take a turn for the worse when his apparent rescuers accuse him of murder. A witness has sworn that he saw him stab the Kansas senator, and it seems certain that Gallant will hang for a murder he did not commit.
Gallant’s old friends newspaperman Stick McCrae and lawyer Melody Lake are able to rescue him from his predicament, but disaster after disaster befall the trio as it becomes increasingly apparent that several people want him dead. A web of political intrigue and vengeance is uncovered, but will Gallant be able to unmask the true murderer before he himself becomes a victim?
This is the third book to feature Born Gallant and although it is a self-contained story it does reveal a lot about what has happened in the previous stories, so it may be worthwhile tracking those down and reading them before this one. Whichever choice you make I’m sure that you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did.
Paxton Johns is a thinly disguised pseudonym used by John Paxton Sheriff for this series about Born Gallant. I’ve been a fan of Sheriff’s work for a long time (he writes under a fistful of other names too) and always enjoy his twisting plots that offer plenty of surprises.
This book grips from the opening scenes and will have you struggling to work out what is going on along with Gallant and his two companions. Every time they seem to be getting somewhere someone else pops up with a gun, a threat of jail, or a comment that destroys their theories. All this makes for a very entertaining read that left me hoping we haven’t seen the last of Born Gallant even though the last paragraph of the story perhaps hints that we have.