Tuesday, 31 January 2023


By Scott Connor
A Black Horse Western from The Crowood Press, April 2018

When Sheriff Cornelius Doyle is killed, his estranged son Kane sets out to find the culprit, hoping to reconcile with a family that doesn’t want to know him – but he soon discovers that his father’s apparently honourable life was a lie.

The sheriff had become a legend when he killed the notorious outlaw Jesse Sawyer, but Kane discovers that the facts are at odds with the legend as Jesse is still alive. With the sheriff’s murder apparently being connected to the events of ten years ago, Kane hopes that Jesse can lead him to the killer. Instead, he uncovers a dark secret that will not only put his life in peril, but could make it impossible for his family to ever accept him.

Right from the opening scenes, the author had me hooked into his fast-moving story that is filled with intrigue. Twists and turns come at breakneck speed as Kane’s hunt for his father’s killer brings more mysteries out into the open. How Kane hopes to win his family over into accepting him seems impossible as their hatred for him grows.

Kane’s brother is also a lawman, and he warns Kane off, doesn’t want him looking for their father’s murderer, but that doesn’t stop Kane. This brings the brothers into conflict with each other, as much as Kane tries to avoid this. Kane teams up with a couple of ranch hands who bring their own troubles to the plot, as they owe a large amount of money to someone, and that man wants it back or he’ll kill them. Jesse Sawyer wants to kill Kane too, so the story soon has multiple sides helping, hindering, and fighting each other. There is plenty of action, from well described fist fights to lighting fast gunplay.

I’ve read a number of Scott Connor’s westerns and I’ve always found them enjoyable. His twisting plots always keep me guessing, and like many of his other books, I couldn’t work out what was going on and was often surprised when truths were revealed. Everything built up to a great climax that had some shocks waiting in store for those who had survived to the end. 

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