Monday, September 21, 2009

Longarm: Hell Up North -- Tabor Evans (Peter Brandvold)

LONGARM: HELL UP NORTH is the 365th entry in the long-running Longarm series, and it’s a good one. This yarn finds Deputy U.S. Marshal Custis Long in the far northern reaches of Dakota Territory, trying to bring in a fugitive from justice before winter closes in. When he’s wounded in the line of duty, he seeks help in a small, eerie town called Helldorado that’s been taken over by a gang of outlaws. The owlhoots are waiting there for a reason, although Longarm doesn’t know what it is, and not only does he have to conceal his identity as a lawman and try to stay alive, he also has to solve the mystery of what has brought the outlaws to Helldorado.

The author behind the Tabor Evans house-name this time around is Peter Brandvold, who knows the country he’s writing about quite well. That shows in the book, too, as he paints a vivid picture of the bleak Dakota Territory landscape with an ominous winter closing in. As always in a Brandvold novel, there’s plenty of well-written action, great dialogue, and numerous touches of humor. He remains one of the best in the business at picking out just the right details to make a scene come to life.

This is one of the most entertaining Longarms I’ve read in a while, and if you’re a fan of the series or just enjoy a good, gritty Western yarn, I recommend you pick up a copy.


Richard Prosch said...

Those Dakota winters can indeed be hell. Sounds like a good story!

Richard Heft said...

Unfortunately, you have to read the previous 364 books in the series or you won't understand a damn word!

James Reasoner said...

That's one good thing about this series: little or no continuity, so you can read them in any order! Although the individual authors do sometimes refer back to characters and events in previous books they've done, which helps in figuring out who wrote what.

Peter said...

James, thanks for reminding me I used the name HELLDORADO in a previous book...when I thought I'd first used it to title this current book and thought no one had else had ever thought of it before and I was a genius.

I wonder if this is Alzheimers.

I wonder if this is Alzheimers.

AndyDecker said...

Thanks for the info. I like Mr. Brandvolds novel.

Suresh Ramasubramanian said...

The previous book being "Longarm and the Helldorado Kid" (#196)?

That set Helldorado somewhere rather hotter and drier - Nevada. A ghost town with outlaws that stole a UP railroad payroll .. and Longarm has to infiltrate them incognito. :)