My friend Matt Mayo has started re-issuing some of his early books under his own Gritty Press imprint, and in the case of WINTERS' WAR that name is certainly appropriate. This is a indeed a gritty book, a fine hardboiled revenge Western.
After a prologue reminiscent of Edgar Rice Burroughs in which the author supposedly finds the manuscript that tells this tale in an old trunk on an abandoned ranch in Wyoming, Mayo launches into the story of pioneer cattleman Niall Winters and his wife Jenna. Several years earlier, Niall was forced to fight a range war to keep an interloper from stealing his land, a conflict that people in the area sometimes refer to as Winters' War. That's not the only war Niall has to fight, though, as a spree of murder and kidnapping that has its roots in the earlier troubles breaks out. Complicating things even more is that fact that the first snowstorm of the season is roaring down on Wyoming, and it promises to be an unusually bad one.
Mayo's smooth prose keeps things moving along at a fast pace, and the plot twists and turns in a series of well-written action scenes so that the reader can never be sure who will survive and who won't. The sympathetic characters are appropriately likable and the villains suitably despicable.
WINTERS' WAR is a fine traditional Western that's well worth reading, and I'm glad it's available again in both e-book and trade paperback editions. If you're a Western fan, you need to check it out.
Thanks for the fine review, James. I'm pleased you like the book.
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