Friday 14 June 2024


Book 15 of 24
By Bill Reno
Cover art by Shannon Stirnweis
Bantam Books, February 1990

Sheriff Tug Farrell’s put twenty-nine men in their graves, and he’s about to push the count even higher. A vicious bank robber named Devlin has invaded his territory, taking down two banks in Denver County – and killing Farrell’s father. As rage and revenge war with his lawman’s honor, Farrell hits the trail. But Devlin’s not the only killer up ahead. Raven Morrow, a deadly vixen from Farrell’s past, is waiting with gun cocked. But it’s Morrow and her blood-hungry bunch who’d better be prepared to die. For Tug Farrell has just declared war…and he hates to lose.

The Badge series is mainly a collection of stories that are only connected by the fact that one of the main characters in each book wears a badge of some kind. Occasionally the author would bring back one of those lawmen for another tale, and Farrell’s War is one of those cases. I’d suggest you read the earlier book which introduced readers to Tug Farrell before this one, as book 11: Dark Canyon tells of Farrell’s battle to bring down Raven Morrow. Farrell’s War does explain what happened before, in some detail, and certainly contains spoilers that will take away any of the surprises that Dark Canyon contains and it will definitely ruin the ending of that book.

In Farrell’s War, Tug is offered the chance to become an U.S. Marshal, but he turns that position down as his father has come to live with him. Whilst out investigating whether Raven is dead or not, the Devlin gang hit town and kill Farrell’s father. Now Farrell can accept the U.S. Marshal badge but he has to ask himself if he wants it as something to hide behind whilst he carries out his own kind of justice, revenge, or that of the law. As expected, trailing Devlin see’s the outlaw meeting Raven and her gang, but not as I expected. The kidnapping of a young boy brings Farrell into contact with the youngster’s mother and she triggers a very human emotion within Farrell. Could he be falling in love?

Bill Reno is a pseudonym for author Lew A. Lacy, and he once again has written a fast-moving tale packed with action and tense situations. Devlin and Raven, especially the latter, are excellent adversaries for Farrell and at no time could I be sure Farrell would catch up with them, never mind bring them to justice.  Farrell’s War is definitely a worthy follow-up to Dark Canyon and left me eager to read the next book in the series.

Mention must also be made of Shannon Stirnweis’ excellent cover art which illustrates a scene from the story perfectly.

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