Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Lawman and the Songbird - Chap O'Keefe (Keith Chapman)

One of my favorite characters in current Western fiction, Chap O'Keefe's freelance range detective Joshua Dillard, returns in THE LAWMAN AND THE SONGBIRD, a novel originally published by Robert Hale in 2005. It's now available in an inexpensive e-book edition and is well worth reading.

This novel delves into Joshua's past, flashing back to his days as a Pinkerton operative when he was sent to a mining boomtown in Montana to corral a gang of outlaws operating in the area. While he's tackling that job, he gets mixed up in the schemes of a beautiful saloon entertainer and is unable to prevent a deadly saloon robbery. The loot vanishes, and so does the songbird.

Years later, after personal tragedy has led him to quit the Pinkertons and embark on a hardscrabble life as a drifting troubleshooter, Joshua returns to that same Montana town, which is still plagued with lawlessness. This time he's hired as the local marshal, and a daring stagecoach robbery is the first act in a chain of events that might give Joshua a chance to redeem himself for his earlier failure—if he can survive a hail of outlaw lead.

As usual, Chap O'Keefe (who is really Keith Chapman) throws in some nice plot twists and packs the yarn he's spinning with plenty of gritty action. The pace never falters, and THE LAWMAN AND THE SONGBIRD delivers top-notch Western entertainment. Highly recommended, as are all of Keith's books.


David Cranmer said...

Can't go wrong with Keith. Glad to hear this is out in e-book form.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cool. Gonna go have a look at this.