Monday, 14 April 2014
Savage Blood by James Reasoner
Author: James Reasoner
This book's been sitting on my Kindle for a few months, but until now I'd not got around to reading it . I was at a loss for something to read and fancying a short western I decided to give this book a try.
It' a short book. I don't like to call it a novella -I don't really like that term - and it's too long to call it a short story. So I'm going to stick with the good old fashioned term and call the book a novel. Fitting really given that Savage Blood is a good old fashioned, action packed western.
Brodie is a one armed veteran of the Civil War. As well as his arm the war took his beloved Eva from him - well she actually fell into the two arms of another man but only after believing Brodie dead. However when Brodie receives a summons for help from Eva who is being driven out of her business by a ruthless town boss called Flannery, he has every right to ignore her. That's not the way it goes though and Brodie soon finds himself teamed up with the ex-wife's current man,Martin Caney and together they are heading for a showdown with Flannery.
At the root of this excellent story is a standard western plot of big business pushing around the common man, a plot I've used myself, but Reasoner's cast of three dimensional characters give the story a gravitas common to all of the best western fiction. The conflict between Caney and Brodie is handled well and never seems anything less than fully believable. You can imagine that this is how men in such a situation would interact, and this plot strand is used to create tension throughout the book.
An excellent western, skilfully told with an appealing lead character. The reader is immediately rootING for him. He's a cripple in a cruel world, where no allowances will be made for his handicap but even one armed Brodie is a match for most men.
Highly recommended and available at a low price for Kindle and other eReaders.