Wednesday, 9 November 2022


Number 2 of 6
By Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
Kensington hardback, May 2016
Pinnacle paperback, April 2017

Times are changing. Caleb York is saddling up to try his hand as a Pinkerton man out California way. But before he can leave Trinidad, New Mexico, a peaceful morning erupts in a barrage of gunfire. When the dust settles, Caleb has gunned down two bad men, with another just dodging a ticket to hell . . . but leaving one very good man lying dead in the street.

Lightning quick, Caleb rides after the fleeing gunman, only to be swept up in an evil wind blowing back through the sleepy town, threatening its very existence. Caleb’s only chance to restore justice is to load his guns, dig in his spurs, and take on a ruthless killer. In a town drowning in blood, riddled with bullets, and hoping for a hero, Caleb York is the right man at the right time – ready to face the vengeful outlaws in a chilling storm-swept showdown.

I’m not sure why it has taken me so long getting around to reading the second book in this series after enjoying the first one a lot. Like the earlier book, this one falls into the traditional category of westerns, so it should be a pleasurable read for all fans of the genre. There are a lot of links, both in characters and plotlines, between both books, so new readers to the series may find it worthwhile reading The Legend of Caleb York first, although this is not essential.

The author spins an entertaining yarn on many levels. The situations that York has to deal with, both facing outlaws and the two women that have central roles in this tale caught my imagination from the opening scenes. York does seem to place his needs before those of anyone else, which causes some interesting developments in his personal life. The story also contains strong mystery elements. Who’s behind the bank robbery and where has the money disappeared to? Then there’s a series of murders to solve. On top of all this, five gunmen are heading to Trinidad to avenge the death of their brother. Amid all the killings, the author includes some touches of humour, in both his descriptive observations and conversations that had me laughing out loud a couple of times. 

Even though the author kept the identity of the person behind the problems York finds himself facing, I didn’t find it difficult to work out who that character was before it was revealed. Having said that, in no way did it dampen my enjoyment of this story and I look forward to reading the third book in the series very soon. 

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