Monday, July 27, 2015

The Shotgun Rider - Peter Brandvold

Peter Brandvold returns with THE SHOTGUN RIDER, a terrific stand-alone Western novel (or maybe it's the first of a series, who knows) about Dag Enberg, a big Norwegian currently working as a shotgun guard on a stagecoach line in southern Arizona. Dag is a pretty messed-up hombre, especially since returning from the Civil War. He drinks too much, and he's in love with a beautiful Mexican soiled dove even though he's married to the stepdaughter of the richest man in town...who as the owner of the stage line happens to be Dag's boss. Then his wife is kidnapped and he's forced to get involved in a stagecoach robbery, which leads to Dag winding up behind bars. To rescue his wife and clear his name, he has to escape and set off on a dangerous pursuit across the border and deep into Mexico...

That noirish set-up turns into a top-notch adventure yarn. As always in a Brandvold novel, the characters are interesting, the setting is rendered vividly, and the action-packed plot races along. THE SHOTGUN RIDER is entertaining from start to finish and with its gritty tone would have fit right in with the Gold Medal Western line from the Fifties. It's about the length of a Gold Medal, too, which means no padding, just great story. This is one of Mean Pete's best and one of the best books I've read this year, period. Highly recommended.

No comments: