Monday, July 15, 2019

Reign of Terror - Paul Bedford

Frontiersman Jared Tucker has brought his family to a ranch on the Brazos River for a new start in Texas, unaware that roving bands of Comanche, frustrated by their defeat at the Battle of Adobe Walls, are looking for just such isolated ranches where they can vent their anger against the white settlers. An attack on his home leaves a grieving Tucker searching for his 13-year-old daughter, the only survivor of the massacre, who has been carried off by the renegades.

Tucker falls in with buffalo hunter Woodrow Clayton, who has faced the Comanches before at Adobe Walls. Together, the two men join forces with a cavalry column led by Colonel Ranald Mackenzie, bound for a showdown with Chief Quanah Parker’s forces at a place called Palo Duro Canyon. Tucker, along with Clayton, hopes to find and rescue his daughter before it’s too late . . .

I read another historically based Western novel by Paul Bedford not long ago and enjoyed it, and REIGN OF TERROR is even better. He does a fine job of mixing history and fiction and presents an accurate portrayal of the Battles of Adobe Walls and Palo Duro Canyon and the leaders on both sides, Quanah Parker and Ranald Mackenzie, all the while spinning a compelling fictional yarn as well. The search among the Indians for a white captive is a very traditional Western plot, so the execution becomes even more important. Bedford pulls it off, even more impressive considering that he’s an English author and REIGN OF TERROR is part of the Black Horse Western line, soon to be published in England but available for pre-order in the U.S. as well. I plan to read more by Paul Bedford, and if you’re a fan of traditional Westerns, I recommend his books.


Steve M said...

Paul Bedford is one of my favourite Black Horse Western writers, he often includes real people and/or events in his books and I echo James' recommendation that he's an author worth reading.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I rarely see Black Horse Westerns in secondhand bookshops and book exhibitions in my neck of the woods, but when I do, I don't think twice before picking it up. Same is the case with Linford Western Library.