Sunday, 24 July 2016

Book review: The Gunsmoke Serenade by Thomas McNulty

While passing through Cherrywood Crossing, US Marshal Maxfield Knight is confronted by a gang of hired guns who tell him to ride the other way, or be shot down. With no choice but to ride into the high country, Knight soon learns he is being hunted by a man named Silas Manchester, but why, he has no idea. Determined to survive this dangerous game that he's been forced to play, Knight is destined to become the hunter rather than the hunted. Aided by a mountain man named Lacroix, Knight decides to bring the fight to Manchester and get answers. Meanwhile, Knight's partner, Deputy US Marshal Cole Tibbs, sets out looking for his missing friend. Tibbs will discover that he, like his friend, has also become part of a dangerous game that turns into a serenade of violence.

This is my first taste of this author's work and I liked it from the cast to the pacing to the writing style.

The characters are very self-sufficient, no-nonsense and believable. I felt like I was there because the scenery was so precisely described without bogging down the story. In fact, the landscape is a major player. I was particularly impressed with the way the various foes were despatched, without preamble or unnecessary playacting, although the final showdown was over a bit quickly for me.

This is a book that made me look at my own writing and think that I could definitely learn a thing or two. I'm happy to have discovered this author and am looking forward to reading everything that he has written.

You can find an interview with Thomas McNulty on my blog here.

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