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Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Devine's Law by Ian Parnham

Devine's Law
I J Parnham
black Horse Westerns
Originally published 2004

Marshall Jake T. Devine is among the most unpleasant characters I've ever met in western fiction. Think Dirty Harry crossed with Judge Dredd and a little Patrick Bateman but what author I. J.Parnham knows is that a bastard's far more interesting than a squeaky clean hero and gives for a much better read. Well he's given us just that and his Jake Devine is almost Satan with a badge.

The book starts off with the Marshall bursting into the home of Seth Randall looking for his son Max - the boy's not at home but Seth and his three other boys are. And by the end of that chapter the Marshall's murdered the father and the three boys. He then coolly leaves, whistling as he does so, to resume his search for the errant Max.

Hearing of the slaughter Max vanishes into the hills with the Marshall in hot pursuit.

Very few westerns shock me but this one did and just when I thought I had the ending all figured out the rug was pulled out from under me again. I would highly recommend this novel - it's another all action western in the excellent Black Horse Range of which I am proud to be a part and the character of Jake Devine really is a truly original creation.

The action then shifts to follow the adventures of Max Randell which is a clever touch because we feel the suspense knowing that the monster with the badge is not too far behind him but it's when Devine takes centre stage that the book really comes alive.

Author, Ian Parnham has hinted that one day he may bring Devine back for another novel and I, for one, sure hope he does just that.


David Cranmer said...

Thanks for the heads up... Sounds like a damn good novel.

Joanne Walpole said...

What a coincidence. I bought this on e-bay 2 days ago!

I.J. Parnham said...

I'm glad you liked it, Gary, and thanks for the kind review. And, Jo, I saw that one go by and was wondering how that seller could charge 90p, or whatever it was, postage!

Ray said...

Doggone it, Gary - I just read this one and was going to put it on my blog.
It is that good.
But you and me Taff Street - High Noon LOL:)


Ray I'll meet you at Taff Street, High Noon no problem. But be warned you better be fast. Seriously though why don't you still run the review. I'm sure everyone, me included, would be eager to read your thoughts.

Richard Prosch said...

I've added this one to the top of my list. Another sorta coincidence: this week I read my first Parnham story: "Once Upon a Time in Mirage" in WHERE LEGENDS RIDE. A top-notch story in a terrific collection!

Anonymous said...

I bought six BHW titles from a second hand shop and this title was among them. I've never read any before and started this one earlier. I see what you mean about the character of Devine - he sure is a bad guy.

You guys have got a new fan here.


Keith said...

Thanks sounds awesome. I'll have to check it out.