Saturday 24 June 2023

Tom's Revenge - James Edward Webb

Tom's Revenge
James Edward Webb
ISBN 9798839524316
eISBN 9798201472900

I freely admit it has been a few decades since I have read what would be considered a true western novel. This one did not disappoint. In many ways it was like a jump back to my young and reading my dad’s hand me down westerns, or watching the spaghetti westerns of Clint Eastwood and others. It was a story that as soon as I started I was hooked. I picked it up nearly a year before reading it. I had grabbed it and sort of forgotten about it. And then an author who had originally recommended it mentioned it again. A few different authors had mentioned the book before I picked it up, and I have yet to read anything from Tuscany Bay that was a disappointment. This one was a great story and reading the authors note afterwards made it even a more powerful tale.

The description of this book is:

“Hidden In Plain Site

Tom Dufran was on the trail of one of the most malicious men to roam the west, with only the image on an old wanted poster to go on. The trail not only led him to Belle Fourche in the Dakota Territory, but also to cross paths with someone from his past. Aubrey Walters was only in town to purchase a herd of cattle, not to run into the man she thought had perished years ago. Now the memories and feelings of the past were flooding back in.

Did he feel the same way about her?

Would she be able to find out?

While that was unforeseen, giving countenance to the man to board the train was even more startling. A gross oversight that would allow him to fix the past.

Would he be able to rectify it in time?”

The story moves at a steady pace. The characters are masterfully written. The story is both plausible and possible. Cody, Tom, and Aubrey are well written and fleshed out characters. The current events in the main story take place over just a couple of days, but we have flash backs and history from many of the characters in the book. The story is told in a series of first person accounts, and because of this sometimes we encounter the same event from more than one person’s point of view. The first couple times it happened I though paragraphs had been repeated. When I went back and checked there were subtle differences and the different perspective was evident. We even have a recap of events previously concluded from another point of view. It is a technique I do not recall encountering previously and as a literary effect it worked well. 

This is the story of a law man on the trail of a murdered. A law man still recovering from his experiences in the civil war and shortly ether after. It is the story of Aubrey Walters, out in the territories buying a herd of cattle to take back to her business in New Orleans. It is the story of friendships, and hardships and maybe just maybe a second chance at a life that was though lost forever.

The story had more of an Unforgiven feel than say High Plains Drifter. It would be a great read for those who love western stories or movies, or to be honest anyone who just loves a great story. This was a great read. I can easily recommend this volume and would not hesitate to pick up the next offering from Webb’s pen.

Note: For reviews of all books from Tuscany Bay click here.

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