Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Book review: McAndrew's Stand by Bill Cartwright

Jenny McAndrew and her two sons live in the valley known as McAndrew's Pass. When they hear the new Rocky Mountains Railroad Company has plans to lay a line through the valley and their farm, they are devastated that their simple life will be destroyed. Clarence Harper, the ruthless boss of the railroad company, is not a man to brook opposition and will not leave without putting up a fight. In the McAndrews he finds one family that will not be bullied and battered into submission.

I haven't previously read anything by this author, as far as I know. I have to admit that from the back cover blurb, the story wasn't what I was expecting, which turned out to be a good thing as it did sound pretty run of the mill, I thought.

Although the book starts out with the whole family being instrumental, it is one character that really takes the stand. It is this character's journey that makes the story interesting as we wait to see how he will react to each unfamiliar (to him) event. I'd say the other characters are pretty much standard fodder for westerns, and that's fine by me. The scenarios leading to the finale were well linked and fairly unpredictable, as was one of the major action scenes. It's difficult to say much without spoiling the story for the next reader.

The writing style was unusual, being interspersed with omniscient viewpoint, almost like a voice-over.

Although this book is not a standard beat 'em up, shoot 'em up western, I'd recommend it for its interesting twists and turns. I couldn't help wondering whether their would be a sequel and would look forward to continuing the main character's journey through the unpredictabilities of life.


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