I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is my first book written by David R. Lewis. This book was published in June 2015. Most of the westerns I have read recently have been published in the 1930s to 1940s. It is great to see current writers venture into this genre. What triggered me to read the book was the comment about the wilds of Southern Illinois. I was curious as to what the wilderness would be like.
Our Heroes U.S. Marshals Ruben Beeler, Homer Poteet and Marion Daniels are on the trail of Beulah Boggs. She poisoned a well at a church and thirteen people died. Apparently Boggs was after vengeance. Boggs crossed the Mississippi river into the wilds of Southern Illinois where she has family and friends at their old home. The author mentions the City of Alton, Illinois and the Union POW prison where thousands died of small pox during the Civil War. Lewis also mentioned there are ghost stories in the area. I looked this up to see if it was true and it was. I wished I had known about the Civil War monument to the prison when I visited the area last year. I enjoy finding true facts in fiction stories; these days it is so easy to quickly verify facts. Before the 1980s I had to keep a list until I could get to the library and without the reference librarian to help me it was difficult to find the information. I think this hunt for true facts is half my fun in reading fiction.
The story is character driven so we have a great time getting to know Ruben, Homer and Marion and Mrs. Boggs. The book is well written, fast paced, lots of action and some suspense. The author narrated his own book. I will look for more books by this author.
Dusty Rhodes has written an interesting series about the Longhorn Ranch. Book two is mostly about the missing younger brother who goes by the name Hondo Kid. Rhodes does a great job of bringing to life the 1860s Texas and the large cattle drives to the rail head. Great to read a book that does not contain swear words, sex and violent without meaning. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
Max Brand (1892-1944) was called “The Shakespeare of the Western Range.” Max Brand was a pseudonym for Frederick Schiller Faust. Faust was a prolife writer and wrote under at least a dozen pseudonyms. He wrote in many genre and many of his books were made into movies such as “Destry Rides Again” and “Dr. James Kildare” being two famous books/movies. The copyright on most of his works has run out and his family and other publishers are re-publishing much of his work under new copyrights in print/e-book/audio book formats. This book “The Tracker” was a magazine serial from the 1920s and was republished as an e-book and audio book.
The protagonist is Tom Fuller, an honest fellow of extraordinary physical strength and generally regarded as a half wit, which he is not. Fuller obtains a job as blacksmith assistance. Along comes Oliver Champion and recognizes him as the son of a renowned gunfighter so he loses his job. Champion hires him as a body guard as he is also an excellent shot. Champion is from the east and has never been west. He is in pursuit of a master criminal Henry Plank.
The book is fast paced and full of action and excellent dialog. The book is well written with an interesting plot. The story was written in the days authors were paid by the word so there are lots of descriptions in the story to add words.
Barry Press narrates the book.