REVIEWS OF MARK BANNERMAN BOOKS
This story begins as it means to go on. Within the first 10 pages it is thick with action and layers of plot.I'd felt like I'd read an action movie and was left spinning from the twists and turns. It is very well written, the author's obvious knowledge of his subject means that you are really experiencing the drama of the Texas landscape and feeling your own brow sweat as the hero is exposed to the savage climate and as he escapes scrape after scrape! Recommended to wild west enthusiasts and those who just like a damn good absorbing fast track story.
Major John Willard is sent on a special mission by the president himself. This will take him to the Staked Plains of Texas, a region both repellent and menacing; a land of death inhabited by Indians and outlaws. Well hidden within its wildest depths is the stronghold of an embittered band of ex-Confederates. Even though the Civil War is over they continue to fight on by inciting the Indians to attack the Federal Army. Willard's mission is to bring peace to the region.
The author doesn't believe in making life easy for his hero; even before his mission has begun the complications set in. It seems that people other than the President have an interest in Willard's mission such as Edward Sanderson and his mysterious, jade-eyed daughter Lauretta and soon Willard is plunged into a world of dark secrets that make this book compelling reading. My first book from this author and definitely not my last.
Western Fiction Review
At a remote inn, Conroy McClure becomes involved with an evil family and, in particular, the she-devil of a daughter who ensnares men in her murderous web of sensuality. McClure, like so many before him, is trapped. Local vigilantes storm the inn, intent on lynching the entire family. But the killers have fled, taking McClure with them. The evidence left buried in the adjacent orchard is totally damning: twelve bodies, naked and brutally mutilated. But where have the murderers gone, and what is the fate of Conroy?
For a Black Horse Western the plot even involves a very graphic sex scene, although it is important to the storyline. Bannerman also includes a couple of rare, in a Western, elements: a hot air balloon and some Great White sharks.
This has to rank up there with the best Black Horse Westerns I've read and will certainly have me hunting through my collection for other books I have by this author.
If you love Western novels then you really must read Mark Bannerman. All the flavour of the old West is in his books. They are written with literate flair, by a man who has trodden many of those dusty trails and battlegrounds to ensure that what he writes is not only exciting, but authentic.
John Paxton Sheriff