Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book Review: Will Tanner: U.S. Deputy Marshal

The world’s worst blogger is back. I appreciate everyone who reads this. Looking at the stats, there are quite a few of you. My New Year’s Resolution is to be a more mindful blogger! I’ve been writing plenty, but all on the fiction front. The blog fell dormant. That’s good news, in a way, because the fiction is going well.
But, I’m back with more frequency. At least that's the plan.
So let’s get into today’s book review. Per my annual tradition, I received several Amazon gift cards for Christmas. I’ve spent Christmas evening for about the last five or six years loading my Kindle with books for the upcoming year. This holiday was no exception. One of the titles I selected was Will Tanner: U.S. Deputy Marshal. It’s one of the latest series in the William Johnstone line.
It’s pretty darn good. It is a traditional western. Written in an older style. This is not a knock against it. In fact, I enjoyed the book immensely. The author takes his time telling the story. This is not to say that the book is ever boring. It is not! But, fans of the genre may recognize it unfolds a bit differently than the westerns being put out by Rough Edges Press or Piccadilly Publishing and some of the others.  It is not as fast paced and not as violent. There’s plenty of action, don’t get me wrong. The book is never dull. Just more in line with the old Louis L’amour titles than say Ben Bridges, Peter Brandvold, or Robert Randisi.
I won’t go into the plot too much. I’ll keep this spoiler free. The book involves Will Tanner (big shock) who becomes a deputy U.S. Marshal (another big shock). He’s based out of Arkansas, but his work takes him into Indian Territory and Texas. A good portion of this book takes place in my home state of Oklahoma, around the Arbuckle Mountains. It’s an area I know well, and I could picture many of the locations described. This added much to the story for me! I liked it.
I suspect I know who the author of this tale is. I’ve gotten fairly good at spotting some of the Johnstone ghost writers. Longtime western readers will probably figure this one out, too.
Overall, this is a solid, traditional western that kept me reading. I have the second one of the series already purchased and waiting on my Kindle. I look forward to the third installment which is due to be released this spring. If you’re wanting an old fashioned shoot ‘em up with well-drawn characters, rich detail, and exciting action, check this one out. Recommended.

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