Friday, September 29, 2017

Review: Empty Saddles

Empty Saddles Empty Saddles by Burt Arthur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Clearly marketed as a Western, the novel is instead a character study of a young lawyer named Joe who has recently returned from World War II, his difficulties getting reintegrated into his former small town life, and his quest to unseat the popular, albeit corrupt, politicians running the town. Joe has two love interests, the former flame and girl-next-door type Mavis, and a young and neurotic ingenue with the wonderful name of Avril Fawcett, whose fathers both happen to be corrupt politicians. The novel is a solid small town drama, perhaps a bit slow moving, with interesting characters and prose. It wasn't what I was expecting, however I liked it a lot.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: Ambush on the Mesa

Ambush on the Mesa Ambush on the Mesa by Gordon D. Shirreffs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A superb Western noir that tells the story of a crew of soldiers and a pair of women who are holed up in some ancient abandoned cliff dwellings without food and surrounded by blood thirsty Apaches. The dramas unfolding within the doomed prey run the gamut of human emotions - rage, jealousy, greed, and deception with bullies, cowards, leaders, and lunatics squaring off in a desperate battle for survival. An exceedingly dark and violent novel that kept me riveted throughout. I'm going to be seeking out more of this largely forgotten authors work.

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