Monday 31 January 2022


Book 142 of 398 + seven giant editions
By Jon Sharpe
Signet, October 1993

Skye Fargo knocked on the door of the Black Hills Mining Company looking for the missing father of a beautiful girl he couldn’t say no to. The door was opened by Linda Ayler, the luscious lady who ran the operation – and Skye was in the kind of trouble he couldn’t get out of even if wanted to. He had two women to satisfy in very different ways, a string of murders that kept getting longer, a labyrinth of lies with death waiting for him at every twist of the truth, and a mine shaft that seemed to go down to hell itself. It would take Skye a lot of digging to uncover the truth about who killed who and why – and a lot of shooting to keep him from being buried with it….

This book is action all the way, from the opening scene of Fargo walking into his hotel room to find five men and a bound woman occupying it, to the final exchange of lead and capture of a murderer. In between there’s loads more deadly situations and lots of verbal fencing that could bring about Fargo’s death if he says or does the wrong thing. 

Twist after twist, suspicion and bluff all ensured that I kept reading as ideas came into my head about just what was going on, and who was behind it, only for these thoughts to be swiftly cast aside as the author skilfully wove misleading information and hints of the truth into the plot.

Character studies are superbly done, especially those of the two main female leads, Bess Darby and Linda Ayler, who soon have Fargo’s head in a spin. Two prospective buyers of the Ayler mine proved to be very amusing as they battled to better each other with their offers. These people, and others, all making it extremely difficult for Fargo to discover the truth about Bess’s father’s disappearance and who was responsible for this and the murders. 

With the Trailsman series being classed as adult reads the book does contain some graphic sex. I was surprised to find that none of this took place until I was at least half-way through the story, the author using the first half to weave his enthralling plot and hook his readers into his fast-flowing tale.

I’m not sure who wrote this entry into the Trailsman series, but I think it was more than likely Jon Messmann, and he once again has come up with an entertaining read that explains why I keep coming back to the series, time and time again.

I also believe the cover art was done by Hiram Richardson.

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