Sunday 31 December 2023


In 2023 I didn't have as much spare time for reading as I would have liked. Other interests and life in general taking up most of my free time. I also read some none westerns, which meant even less time for my favourite genre. The books listed below cover a broad publishing period, from the late 1950's right up to the current day. To read any review just click on the book number. 

1. Hawk 3: Death’s Bounty by William S. Brady
2. Wolf Stockburn, Railroad Detective 4: One Way to Die by Max O’Hara
3. The Man Who Shot Jesse Sawyer by Scott Connor
4. The Ramseys 2: Ramsey’s Luck by Will McLennan
5. The Trailsman 139: Buffalo Guns by Jon Sharpe
6. Sundance: The Wild Stallions by John Benteen
7. Bloody Joe Mannion 3: Saints and Sinners by Peter Brandvold
8. Fort Misery by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone
9. Longarm and the Golden Death (178) by Tabor Evans
10. Slattery 2: Bullet Welcome for Slattery by Steven C. Lawrence
11. The Battling Harrigans of the Frontier 1: Westbound by Dusty Richards and Matthew P. Mayo
12. Western Adventure, Vol. 3 No. 4, October 1958
13. Slocum 171: Powder River Massacre by Jake Logan
14. Abilene 9: The Tracker by Justin Ladd
15. Will Tanner 2: A Stranger in Town by William W. Johnstone with J.A. Johnstone
16. Jeremiah Halstead 3: The Revengers by Terrence McCauley
17. Morgan Kane 15: Between Life and Death by Louis Masterson
18. A Town Called Bastard by William Terry
19. The Carey Blood by Irving A. Greenfield
20. Gunn 5: Winter Hell by Jory Sherman
21. Devil’s Gulch by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone
22. Longarm and the Golden Lady (32) by Tabor Evans
23. Captain Tom Skinner 1: Ride a Fast Horse by Kevin Warren
24. Hunter’s Moon by Ty Walker
25. Trail Boss from Texas by Barry Cord
26. Stranger in Town by Clifton Adams
27. Carson Stone 2: A Short Rope for a Tall Man by Nate Morgan
28. Jubal Cade 6: The Burning Man by Charles R. Pike
29. Buck Trammel 5: This Man Must Die by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone
30. Breed 8: Blood Debt by James A. Muir
31. Cactus Jim Clancy 15: Colt Fever by Stetson Cody
32. Shadow at Noon by Hondo Wells
33. Western Story – January, 1958
34. Holmes on the Range 7: Hunters of the Dead by Steve Hockensmith
35. Easy Company and the Bullwhackers (30) by John Wesley Howard
36. Jeremiah Halstead 4: Born to Hang by Terrence McCauley
37. The Pearl Bothers 1: Trouble on the Smoky Hill by Andrew Weston
38. Devil’s Gulch 2: Shooting Iron by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone

Review of book read a few years ago and other items
1. The Gunsmith 33: The Posse by J.R. Roberts
2. Slocum by Jake Logan series Bibliography

Sunday 24 December 2023


By William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone
Pinnacle Books, November 2023

One of the deadliest, crime-infested towns in Colorado Territory, Devil’s Gulch needed more than a sheriff. They needed a gunslinger. So, they pinned a badge on hardcase lawman John Holt. And the rest is history….

As the town’s new sheriff, John Holt achieved the impossible: He drove the devil out of Devil’s Gulch. Corrupt, cutthroat rancher Joe Mullen – who ruled the land with an iron fist – is finally behind bars, all thanks to Sheriff Holt. But the tables are turned when Mullen manages to overturn his prison wagon and make his escape – with an army of prisoners, outlaws, and lowlifes to do his bidding.

It doesn’t take long for the streets of Devil’s Gulch to run red with blood. Again. Or for John Holt to be marked for death. Again. But this time, the sheriff’s up against more than a hundred men – all of them gunning for him – and his only allies are an all-too-young deputy, an all-too-angry farmer, and a wayward wagon cook. With odds this bad, Holt is sure of only one thing: When you shoot at the devil, it’s best not to miss.

Picking up shortly after the first book ended, this story sees Holt once again battling against Joe Mullen. Mullen wants revenge, particularly against his wife who betrayed him. That desire gets stronger when Mullen finds out she is seeing another man. Mullen soon sets in motion a plan to satisfy his need for vengeance and to clear his name – and he doesn’t care who he has to kill to achieve his aims. Town politics will also have a part to play and this throws a few twists into the story. Many of the characters from the previous books have parts to play in this one, as do some great new people, such as the cook, Bob, who isn’t all he seems. 

The plot is gripping, and offers some excellent bursts of violent gunplay. The author also takes time to develop his main characters too, exploring their thoughts regarding the situations they find themselves in and how they can use these circumstances to further their greed for power and fortune. New relationships are formed that could cause more problems for John Holt, although not all of these team-ups are wanted by all the parties involved.

Shooting Iron offers a great combination of western action and intriguing political wrangling that easily held my attention throughout and left me eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.

Saturday 16 December 2023


Book 33 of 486 to date + 19 Giant Editions
By J.R. Roberts
Speaking Volumes, January 2014
Originally published by Charter, October 1984

What kind of men would trample a little girl to death? Only the worse kind of low-down, subhuman varmints – and that’s why Clint Adams agrees to join a posse to track down the gang of murdering bank robbers. But with a posse made up of a resentful deputy and merchants who don’t know one end of a gun from another, the Gunsmith is in for a lot more trouble than he bargained for – especially when he realizes the gang is heading for the one town in the West no lawman has ever entered!

Perhaps one of the more gruesome opening scenes to a Gunsmith book I’ve read and it’s no wonder Adams decides to join the posse.

All the main participants are well drawn – the robbers being portrayed as a bunch of double-crossing, savagely evil characters that had me urging Adams on to deal out some western justice.

The story is fast moving and is very readable. There are lots of references to previous Gunsmith books and this helps create a past for Clint Adams, fleshing out his character well.

The plot builds superbly and sees Adams and his companions facing certain death with no foreseeable way of escape. The method used to ensure Adams survives came across as a little unbelievable to me. A number of real people from America’s history arrive in the nick of time to save the day. Still, this provided an exciting and entertaining finale to the book that overall is a very enjoyable read.

Wednesday 6 December 2023


Book 1 of 4 currently
By Andrew Weston
Independently published, June 2023

A Cheyenne raiding party turns the quiet community of Elder Grove, Kansas, upside down, resulting in the death of a mother and father, and the abduction of their teenage daughters.

All seems lost.

But the Cheyenne didn’t reckon on the leaders of Elder Grove, Jacob and Noah Pearl. Two men with a remarkable shared history, who are a force of nature when roused.

And as the Cheyenne are about to discover, they’re also the kind of men who will do anything to see justice done, even if it means getting their hands dirty.

This is Andrew Weston’s first western and a fine entry into the genre it is. The opening chapter grabbed my attention immediately and had me eagerly turning the pages to see how events developed. Could Jacob and Noah, along with their friend Sam, track the small band of Cheyenne who had kidnapped the two girls and free them?

The author kept switching the narrative between the pursuers and pursued, and occasionally other secondary characters. This allows the reader to witness the deadly situation the two girls find themselves in. How Astrid tries to leave a trail for those she believes are searching for her and her sister to follow and her resolve to survive are some of the highlights of this book.

There is plenty of action too as bands of Indians slaughter various groups of white people, attempting to clear the land of the encroaching white man. Andrew Weston tells his story against this backdrop of rising tensions caused by the US Army’s attempts to supress the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Comanche with the 7th Cavalry and Custer being mentioned a few times. 

The story is a straight-forward pursuit tale, filled with well crafted characters. Attention to character development being another strength of this book. There are one or two surprises that add a shock element to the story and the violence can be hard-hitting at times. Everything came to a fast and violent end that left me looking forward to reading more about the surviving characters.

If you’re looking for a new author to try, then I’d recommend you consider this book by Andrew Weston.