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Monday, 29 June 2009

Western book review - Long Shadows

There are not many novels in the Black Horse Western stable that feature a female main character. This is one of them – and, like the Misfti Lil series, it works very well.

Terry James

Our first introduction to Ros West is memorable as she sells her horse. We want to know more about her and her predicament. But before that, we – and Ros – are drawn into a fight to rescue an apparent stranger, Jake Rudd from a beating. Ros has a strong sense of justice – and a missing memory.

As she teams up with Jake, she learns that they were lovers some time before she mislaid her past. However, as she has no memory of him and doesn’t particularly trust the man, she has no intention of sharing a bed with him again. People have been trying to kill her for a long time, and she doesn’t know why; neither does Rudd, who has the knack of ‘deliberately lighting a fuse under trouble.’

Big honcho Swain wants things his way and hires guns to ensure it happens. He’s not averse to killing, either. As events grow more tense, glimmers of memory return to Ros. ‘Being home was like opening an old wound. … Rudd … was the salt being rubbed into it.’

As well as being feisty, tough and independent, Ros has a sense of humour too. ‘Beats me how I hurt my hand when I stopped the fall with my face.’

Good characterisation, plenty of action and an unfolding mystery – all bound to provide reader enjoyment.


Ray said...

I think that over the last couple of years there has been a freshness from a good bunch of new writers - and both Jack Martin and Terry James join the list. Firmly planted on my bookshelves.

Joanne Walpole said...

Thanks for the flattering review, Nik. And thanks also to Ray for his continuing support of me, Long Shadows and the Black Horse Western brand.

Chrissy said...

Hey Thanks for the book review. I love reading book reviews, they give me enough detail if I want to read the book or not and I definitely want to check this one out so thanks!

I'm looking forward to reading a western with a female main character, and you're right there aren't many are there. I don't think I've read one before.

I heard about a book, called The Shopkeeper by James Best that you might like from a book review.

He's a pretty good writer too and had me flipping page after page. It has a bit of romance in it so the ladies will enjoy it as well.

Thanks again, and I'll be back.

Nik said...

Thanks, Chrissy, your comments - and book recommendation appreciated. You'll find that my westerns all feature strong female characters.
Thanks, Ray - and Jo.

Barbara Martin said...

Thanks for the in-depth review, Nik.

Jay said...

I have been looking for bloggers who also review western books and I enjoyed your review and it gave me a new writer to check out. Thanks

Nik said...

Thanks, Jay. And Jo (Terry James)has just had her second novel accepted by Hale - due out next year.