Thursday, May 04, 2017

Coyote Courage - Scott Harris

Brock Clemons rides into the small town of Dry Springs simply looking for a place to grab a cigar and a good night’s sleep. Instead, he finds a town being strangled by a band of hardened outlaws, a young boy named Huck who is bravely facing challenges far beyond his years, and Sophie, a woman of captivating strength and beauty. Brock decides to stay beyond the one night he had planned, but will his intelligence, courage, and unmatched skill with a gun be enough to save the town, help Huck, and win Sophie’s heart?

In his debut novel, Scott Harris has done a good job writing a traditional Western in the classic mode, reminiscent of Louis L'Amour with its first-person narration, clear-cut distinction between good and evil, and action scenes that are fast-paced and exciting without being graphically violent. The plot takes an unexpected twist or two and there are some nice lines of dialogue, but where Harris really excels is with his characters. Brock Clemons is a fine protagonist with an intriguing history, a man raised in England but not out of place in the Old West, well read, gentle and reflective most of the time but plenty tough when he needs to be. I also like the youngster Huck, who comes across as a real boy, not just a character type or a grown-up in a child's body. For fans of traditional Westerns, COYOTE COURAGE is well worth reading.

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