Tuesday, July 30, 2013


By Win Scott Eckert
Meteor House
136 pages

Graced by a sensational, totally pulpish cover by Mark Sparacio, this little novella chronicles the second action packed adventure of Doc Savage’s daughter, Pat.  Well, not exactly Doc as created by pulp master Lester Dent, but rather his Wold Newton clone as envisioned by the late sci-fi author, Philip Jose Farmer.

For the uninitiated, Farmer postulated this fantastic idea that all the famous heroes and villains of the 19th and 20th Centuries for related by blood tracing their common ancestry to a dozen English men and women who had become exposed to a strange meteor’s radiation when it crashed by their carriages in a place called Wold Newton.  From that beginning these men and women became the originators of incredible heroes to include Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, the Shadow and the Spider, Captain Nemo, the Avenger, Phineas Fogg and the list goes on and on and on.  Well, you get the idea.

Whereas most of these fictional personages were licensed properties, Farmer could not use them in his fiction.  He solved this problem by giving them different names while clearly describing them so as to be recognized by readers.  Thus Doc Savage in the Wold Newton universe became Doc Wildman; he married and had a daughter named Pat.  Farmer had begun to write a Pat Wildman novel, “The Evil of Pemberley House,” but passed away before completing it.  That task was left to his loyal and talented protégé, Win Scott Eckert.  That book met with both public and critical success.  Now Eckert takes over the reins with this new tale and Pat Wildman couldn’t be in more capable hands.

Looking like a very alluring female version of her famous father, complete with a near perfect physique of a bronze hue and gold-flecked eyes, Pat and her British partner, Peter Parker own and manage Empire State Investigations using her inherited Pemberley Mansion as their headquarters. Soon after a very distraught young woman arrives on their doorstep asking their aid in finding her missing father, a British envoy to a small South American country, they are attacked by a bizarre menace that turns people into red glass and then shatters them.  Soon Pat, Peter and their client are winging their way to upstate New York where she plans on arming herself with some of her father’s powerful weapons before moving on to their final destination, the country known as Xibum.

No sooner do they land in the states then they are set upon by mercenary killers working for a twisted villain known as the Scarlett Jaguar.  Pat soon discovers this fiend has threatened to destroy the Panama Canal with his mysterious ray unless the entire country of Xibum is ceded to him by the British government.  Now their quest to find the missing dignitary becomes a deadly race against time.  Once in Xibum, Pat begins to learn long lost secrets of her renowned sire’s past adventures.  But can she take on his heroic legacy and save the day?

Eckert skillfully whips up a truly fun tale that blends both the sensibilities of classic pulp fare with some wonderful seventies James Bond touches that the savvy reader will recognize instantly.  It’s a heady mash-up that works extremely well.  “The Scarlett Jaguar” is a terrific new pulp actioner you do not want to miss.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


By Stephen Jared
Solstice Publishing Co.
275 pages

A while back actor Stephen Jared wrote a terrific pulp novel called, “Jack and the Jungle Lion,” which this reviewer totally enjoyed and recommended highly.  It told the story of Hollywood action hero, Jack Hunter, and how, while on a shoot in the jungles of South America, he met the lovely Maxine Daniels, fell in love and actually learned to be a real hero.  The first half of this book reprints that first adventure in its entirety before segueing into the second, a brand new story from which the book gets its title.  So if you are curious to read my thoughts on “Jack and the Jungle Lion,” feel free to search the archives here.  You should be able to find the entry easy enough.

Thus this review is about the new adventures of Jack and Maxine which are just as wild and crazy as the first.  It is 1942, five years since they returned from their jungle ordeal, married and went settled down to live on a spacious ranch in Texas. World War II is raging across the globe and democracy is threatened on all fronts.  Unbeknown to Max, Jack has gone to Chicago disguised as a two-bit hood to infiltrate the mobs because he has heard rumors they are in collusion with Japanese agents.  On his own, without any government sanctions, Jack has become a spy in the service of his country.  Gee, what could possibly go wrong with that idea?

Before you can whistle Yankee Doodle, he and a naïve would-be gangster named Johnny are sent to Shanghai by a crooked Senator to discover the hidden supply routes of the rebel Chinese forces.  The traitorous politician wishes to prove his loyalty to his new Japanese partners by revealing these much sought after routes and thus allow them to defeat both the Chinese and their American supporters.  What Jack doesn’t know is through a series of bizarre events, Max learns of his whereabouts and with the help of their old pilot buddy, Clancy, flies off to Shanghai to find out what the hell is going on with her quirky husband.

Of course once in Shanghai the action really heats up as Jack and Johnny quickly find themselves dealing with a brutal, sadistic Chinese warlord and a sultry Chinese femme fatale who not only recognizes the one time screen star, but then attempts to seduce him.  Which is when Max and Clancy show up.

Again, as he did in “Jack and the Jungle Lion,” Jared delivers a fast paced, old fashion adventure yarn peppered with just the perfect blend of hair-raising action and laugh aloud comedic bits to help lighten the tension.  Jack and Max are truly likeable characters and it is a treat to see them again as their continued romantic relationship shows no signs of ever getting dull.  Amen to that.

Monday, July 15, 2013


By John Scalzi
A Tor Book
301 pages

In 1962 the late H. Beam Piper’s well loved science fiction novel, “Little Fuzzy” was published.  This reviewer was a sophomore in high school and has fond memories of discovering that book via the recommendation of a fellow student who was also an avid reader of science fiction.  For those of you unaware of the book’s premise, humans have traveled to the starts and giant corporations mine alien worlds for their resources.  On one such planet, prospector Jack Halloway discovers a race of furry little creatures and befriends them.  When evidence indicates that the “fuzzies” might actually be sentient beings it establishes the plot’s primary conflict.  By interplanetary law, if a planet has aboriginal sentient life, then it is off limits to all who would attempt to harvest its natural resources to include the mining outfit on Zarathustra, lush alien setting for the book.

Part science fiction adventure and courtroom melodrama, “Little Fuzzy” ends when Halloway and his friends win their case convincing an Interplanetary Judge to declare the “fuzzies” sentient beings and thus the unquestionable owners of the planet.  The book was hugely successful at the time of its release and Piper went on to write sequels, several actually published after his death in 1964.  Beside these, other authors were hired to write new Fuzzy novels; these included William Tuning and John Smith.  The late Ardath Mayhar wrote “Golden Dream,” a novel telling the self-same story only from the perspective of the Fuzzies themselves.  In her book she even invented the fuzzies’ language; parts of which were used by Wolfgang Diehr who wrote two new Fuzzy novels.

We relate all this because my own connection with the series is a personal one on several levels.  After reading several of the sequels, we wrote the publishers suggesting how the original Piper book do extremely well if done as a childrens’ book.  In 1983 such a volume was produced; “The Adventures of Little Fuzzy” written by Benson Parker and beautifully illustrated by Michael Whelan.  The aforementioned Ardath Mayhar was our writing mentor at the time of her involvement with the license and we recall how happy she was with her efforts.  As most fans of the Star Wars movies know, it was the “fuzzies” that inspired George Lucas’ Ewoks and one of the TV network channels produced a made-for-TV movie loosely based on Piper’s though as I recall, no credit to that fact was ever stated.

Which brings us to “Fuzzy Nation,” John Scalzi’s rebooting (his own words) of this science fiction classic released in 2011.  Having experienced many television and movie “remakes” we have to admit to being really curious to see how such a thing would work with fiction.  How much does the new writer keep from the original and how much does he or she change?  All valid questions that filled my thoughts as we started reading page one.  What is obvious from the start is that Scalzi understands the essence of Piper’s plot, the tale he wanted to tell and yet he strips it down to suit his own style of writing; one we admire greatly.  Scalzi is one of those science fiction writers who, though knowledgeable about the science he is extrapolating, he never uses hard facts to get in the way of his story spinning.  Our protagonist is still Jack Halloway, the lone independent ore prospector, though now he’s younger and a whole lot less altruistic.  In fact he’s a lawyer who was disbarred back on Earth.  This not only adds a new element but of makes Halloway a logical champion when we get to the book’s courtroom scenes.  All the original “fuzzies” are back, pretty much as we remembered them as is the giant mega corporation gutting the planet Zarathustra.  Whereas the old supporting cast is gone and Scalzi has replaced them with his own creations, both good guys and villains.

Scalzi’s easy-to-read prose is one of his greatest assets as a writer.  Most of his books are intimate and he has an unerring way of pulling the reader into his tale; a result of truly craftsman-like pacing.  There are very few slow moments in “Fuzzy Nation” and we were unable to put the book down once we had reached the half-way point.  “Fuzzy Nation” is a wonderful book and worthy “rebooting” of a beloved sci-fi classic.  Not to overly repeat ourselves, H. Beam Piper’s cautionary tale of environmental mismanagement is at its core a David vs Goliath fable and there have never been any cuter Davids than “the fuzzies.”  Scalzi embellishes that fable for our times in a truly exciting and fun new interpretation.  This is one of those rare books we want to give to all my friends, you among them.  Go out and read it.  Now.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Edited by Terrence McCauley
Metropolitan Crime Publishing
Available only on Kindle from Amazon
155 pages
Guest Reviewer – Derrick Ferguson

Okay, just bear with me for a few minutes, I cry your pardon. Those of you who have been good enough and indulgent enough to read my previous reviews both book and movie know that at times I can be somewhat long winded. But I assure you I do so for a reason and not because I’m in love with my own prose. And I’m trying to make a point here about GRAND CENTRAL NOIR that I think will illustrate exactly what I’m trying to get at when describing the feel of this anthology.

Most of you are familiar with Will Eisner and “The Spirit,” correct? Remember how every once in a while Mr. Eisner would tell stories that had nothing to do with The Spirit or maybe he would show up in the last panel or two simply because since the strip was titled after him he had to show up somewhere. In those standalone, Day In The Life stories, Mr. Eisner would tell short stories full of suspense, mystery, pathos, comedy, horror, crime or romance. Some of those stories were really very memorable. Well, at its best GRAND CENTRAL NOIR evokes the feel of some of those Will Eisner stories. And even when it’s not at its best, it reminded me of the “Naked City” TV show. Which also ain’t bad.

The concept behind GRAND CENTRAL NOIR is simple: all of the stories are set in New York’s Grand Central Terminal, the largest train station in the world celebrating its 100th birthday this year. I’ve been in Grand Central Terminal many times and it is truly one of the most magnificent structures in New York City. Thousands of people use The Terminal every day and just like they used to say on “Naked City,” they all have stories.
The stories in GRAND CENTRAL NOIR are crime stories but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for other elements to enter into these stories so that while crime is the driving force behind them, they certainly don’t all read the same. And that’s a testament to the talented writers that Terrence McCauley has compiled for this volume.

It’s never stated when I.A. Watson’s “Lost Property” takes place but it reads like a 1930’s screwball comedy/mystery and it’s an excellent choice to start the anthology with as it’s breezy, light and thanks to the rat-ta-tat-tat dialog a fun read with a conclusion that had me grinning from ear to ear.

“Train to Nowhere” by Charles Salzberg and Jessica Hall is set in modern day but it’s feel is very much that of classic noir. There’s a mystery to be solved here but I got the impression that the writers weren’t so much interested in the solution of the mystery as they were in evoking a certain mood and tone and they did indeed accomplish that.

For a while there I feared that Ron Fortier was telling me a shaggy dog story in “Fat Lip’s Revenge” but I should have known better. In the hands of an old pro like Ron it’s a story that at first appears to be going way out over there in the fields somewhere but once you get to the end you understand why Ron had to go out there to bring you back to here. Another story that had me grinning like an idiot by the end.

“Fortune” by S.A. Solomon ends just when it seems like it should be shifting into a higher gear. Not that it isn’t well written. It does a good job of getting into the head of the narrator but that ending is just too abrupt for me and left me feeling cheated out of a proper resolution to the story.

“Meet Me at the Clock” by R. Narvaez is a story that’s soaked in hopelessness right from the opening paragraphs. By the time Lew Conrad got on the train I knew that this story was not going to end well for him and I was right. And “Meet Me at the Clock” is one of several stories in the anthology that gave me the distinctive impression that the actual crime-related plot isn’t all that important to the writer. R. Narvaez is much more interested in exploring this day in the life of this second rater who deserves the fate he gets at the end of the story.

“Terminal Sweep Stakes” is what I like to call a Take No Prisoners Story. Amy Mars is telling a hard mean story about a hard mean man and she pulls no punches doing so. I have no idea if Grand Central Terminal has its own police force but the idea itself was fascinating enough to pull me into the story. The barbed wire and bourbon bite of the prose did the rest.

“Without a Hitch” by R.J. Westerhoff did have a couple of hitches for me. Including a time shift so abrupt and unclear that I actually wondered if somehow a chunk of story had been left out by accident. And the ending is way too anti-climactic and left me mumbling, “You mean that’s it’s?”

After reading J. Walt Layne’s “The Drop” you may be wondering where the crime element is as I did. I don’t think there is one and I don’t think Mr. Layne cares one bit. Again, this another story that I feel is much more interested in characterization and striving to craft a mood and atmosphere. This story feels ambitious, as if Mr. Layne was trying out a different type of storytelling from his usual style.

“A Primal Force” is a story about family and revenge that I admit I paid more attention to because I recently watched on Turner Classic Movies a really good biopic starring Ernest Borgnine about Joseph Petrosino, a New York City detective at the turn of the century who was put in charge of dealing with Italian criminal organizations such as The Black Hand. Petrosino and The Black Hand both play major roles in this story.

“Off Track” by Matt Hilton had me laughing out loud by the time I reached the end. Because it was a laugh that Mr. Hilton had truly earned as I admired the way he had me thinking one way and so smoothly turned the story completely around. The story’s like a great sleight of hand magic trick where the magician has you looking at one hand while he’s actually doing the trick with the other. One of my favorite stories in the book.

I really enjoyed W. Silas Donohue’s “Herschel’s Broom” because even though all of the stories are set in Grand Central Terminal, “Herschel’s Broom” is the one that to me was actually about Grand Central Terminal, if you get my drift and I think after reading it, you most certainly will.

“Timetable For Crime” by Marcelle Thiebaux is another story I really enjoyed as I like heist stories where whoever is pulling off the heist gets away with it. Criminals are oftentimes so inept in real life that it’s downright fun to see a smart criminal in fiction pull off the perfect crime. A great story that barrels along full tilt boogie from start to finish and never sets a foot wrong once.

“Mary Mulligan” is a story that’s safely in the middle of the road. There’s nothing about it that really makes it stand out but there’s nothing wrong with it either. The prose by Jen Conley is pleasant to read and the situation plays itself out in a fairly straightforward manner with no embellishment or surprises. I like Jen Conley’s prose and wish she’d really swung for the fences in this one. Still, this story is good enough that after reading it I made a notation to look up some of her other stories.

“Spice” by Seamus Scanlon is another story that like “Fortune” and “Without A Hitch” ends just where it was getting goood and I was looking forward to where it was going to take me.

Terrence P. McCauley serves up the piping hot action of “Grand Central: Terminal” as if fully aware his responsibility as clean-up is to leave readers wishing there were more stories to read and he does it with a razor-sharp spy vs. spy story. It isn’t a long story but it does a very good job of conveying a larger world outside the borders and I can very easily see more stories about James Hicks and I would love to know more about The University. If you were a fan of ‘24’ then you’ll get right into this story and enjoy it as much as I did.

Before wrapping up this review I know that the writers would want me to point out that when you purchase a copy of GRAND CENTRAL NOIR you’ll be helping out a wonderful cause: God’s Love We Deliver is an organization dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses. All proceeds from this book will be donated to God’s Love We Deliver. For more information about this organization and the amazing work that they are doing, please visit their website; https://www.glwd.org/.

So should you read GRAND CENTRAL NOIR? Sure you should. Not only will you be helping out a worthwhile cause but you’ll be getting eight stories out of fifteen that are absolutely first-rate. Call those the Will Eisner level good stories. The others are “Naked City” good which as I said earlier, still ain’t bad. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Editor John L. French
Dark Quest Books
133 pages

Every now and then a little book like this comes along and makes me happy to be a pulp fan/reviewer.  “Tales from the Pulp Side” is basically four seasoned new pulp writers coming together to present three rip-roaring pulp adventures featuring their own heroes; all of whom pay homage to the classics of the 1930s.

Up first is editor/writer John L. French’s “Wolf Hunt” featuring his Shadow-like avenger, Nightmare.  In this tale, millionaire playboy Michael Shaw has everyintention of giving up his second life as the gun-blasting vigilante Nightmare.  Alas, when a sadistic gang boss murders the District Attorney’s key witness and kidnaps the man’s two young sons, Shaw simply cannot sit idly by and watch evil triumph.  Reluctantly he dons his black regalia and once again hits the streets as the obsessed, unstoppable force for justice, the Nightmare.  This is a whopping good story.

Then comes one of the most audacious pulp characters ever envisioned, the Pink Reaper as written by Patrick Thomas in a story called “The Games People Play.”  Imagine the Domino Lady crossed with the old golden age comic Phantom Lady and you’ve a mild idea of this alluring creature who fights crime in a very, VERY skimpy pink outfit that leaves little to the imagination. Of course Kaye Chandler depends on her lush body to stop male crooks in their tracks making them instantly forget all else except her almost X-rated appearance.  Now to be fair, Kaye also wears an all black cape that, when folded about her, makes it possible for her to disappear into the shadows.  Made by her late inventor uncle, who was murdered, Kaye inherited his marvelous inventions and used them becoming a masked vigilante.  In this particular outing she deals with a new mysterious crime figure known as the Green Hood.  A master strategist, the Green Hood hopes to manipulate others to do his bidding, thus, even though she does foil his plan by the end of the yarn, he is still at large; obviously to reappear at a later date. Note, this story also gives us a glimpsed into the masked-hero shared world as built by these four imaginative writers.  Lots of heroes come and go, some we’d very much like to see again.

Finally the book wraps it all up with a really cool Doc Savage wannabe, Doc Atlas as created by Michael Black and Ray Lavato in “The Green Death.”  When a wealthy young man disappears in the South American jungles, Doc and his two aides, Mad Dog Deagan and Ace Assante head into this green hell to learn his whereabouts.  What they find instead is a secret Nazis base camp experimenting with a new terror drugs in hopes of resurrecting the “New” Third Reich.  Fast paced and full of pulp action, this was a pure joy to read and a fitting finale to a really great fiction package.

“Tales From The Pulpside,” delivers what it promises and then some.  Guaranteed to entertain any true pulp fan and hopefully help recruit many new ones along the way.  We would truly love to see more like this.

Monday, July 08, 2013


By Stephen King
Hard Case Crime
283 pages

There was a time when this reviewer thought writer Stephen King could do no wrong.  His early works, though rough around the edges, still remain his strongest works. Somewhere in his struggling-writer’s soul, King had lots to tell us about those things that go bump in the night. Then, as often happens with success, his books became bloated with pretentious homilies. This reviewer prefers writers who are questioning rather than those who have all the answers.

Pointless social commentary such as his recent “Under the Dome” became thinly veiled sermons against the evils of conservatism; King is an avowed liberal and never misses a chance to snip at the other side.  We were beginning to think we’d never enjoy another good yarn by this once humble, innocent craftsman and then along comes “Joyland.”

Maybe the wisdom of age has settled into his creative bones.  His narrative voice here is steady and focused.  This is King eschewing politics and religion for a glimpse into the magic of every day life with his old insights sharper than ever.  His hero, whose voice he captures marvelously is young Devin Jones.  He has just finished his first year at the University of New Hampshire and suspects the love of his life, Wendy, is about to dump him.  Fearing the worse and unable to face it, Devin heads down to the shores of North Carolina to take a summer job working at an old amusement park called Joyland.  There he meets several other college kids, Tom and Erin, plus an assortment of wonderfully eccentric characters from the carnie folk who run the park to the Mrs.Shoplaw, the widow who manages the boarding house in which he and his new friends stay.

Within weeks of “learning the ropes,” Devin learns that the park’s haunted house ride was once the site of a gruesome murder and the ghost of the slain victim is believed to haunt the darkened tunnels within.  He also befriends Annie, a single mother raising her son Mike who is crippled by muscular dystrophy. Mike also is a bit psychic, as Dev soon learns.  Slowly the rigorous routine of daily manual labor and the congenial warmth of his new companions ease Devin’s heartbreak until he begins to accept life without Wendy may not be such a horrible fate after all.

But there is still the ghost in the haunted house, a mystery he and the lovely Erin begin to investigate.  They soon learn that the murder at Joyland was in fact one in a chain by a serial killer who hides in the vagabond world of carnivals.  At the same time, Dev begins to feel an attraction to Annie, each of them seeing through the other’s protective shell; she to devote herself to her son while he to avoid ever falling in love again.

King’s writing here is beautiful in its simplicity like an effortless poem.  It moves like the pace of beach tide, coming in and going out gracefully and ensnaring the reader with its hypnotic rhythms.  “Joyland,” though containing elements of horror and mystery, is really a coming-of-age story about innocence loss and the courage to see every new day for the miracle each contains.  In that it won me over completely.  “Joyland” is sure to become be one of Stephen King’s most enduring tales.  Spin the wheel and we’ll take a bet on that, even if we don’t win a kewpie doll.

Friday, July 05, 2013


(Scarred Souls)
By Michael Panush
Curiosity Quills
201 pages

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but Michael Panush is rapidly becoming one of my favorite New Pulp writers.  Having discovered him via “Dinosaur Jazz,” a book we nominated for Best Pulp Novel of 2012, we then discovered his “Stein & Candle Detective Agency” series about two post-World War II occult detectives.  As if that isn’t enough to keep this prolific writer busy, now he’s launched as yet another series which can best be described as Frankenstein done western style.

During the Civil War, a Confederate doctor/occultist has the brilliant idea of stitching together body parts from dead soldiers and then animating them using black magic. His plan is to fill the rapidly diminishing ranks of Southern companies with these reanimated corpse soldiers.  He manages to create one such patchwork man before being killed by Union bombardment.  That one and only success is Clayton Cane.

Cane is a bounty hunter traveling the untamed west of the late 1860s and because his very nature is always encountering one fantastic monster after another in this first collection of adventures; there are eight total and each is a gem.

In “Bayou Bloodshed,” Cane is hired to find a black girl who has run off to a secluded island in the middle of the swamps.  The island is populated with two desperate clans; one of gatormen and the other of werewolves.  Needless to say, Cane’s mission is not an easy one.

Then Panush offers up “Red Blades of Whitechapel,” whereby his jigsaw hero end up in London to hunt down a serial killer with a royal pedigree.  Considering this story’s open-ended climax, the main villain could well return for a future encounter.

With “Dead Man’s Band,” Cane captures an outlaw alchemist named Black who leads a band of dead outlaws.  When these deceased desperados attack the hotel Cane is hold up in the pitched battle appears to be El Mosaico’s last stand.

“Monster Men of Malchite Falls” has the bizarre bounty hunter infiltrating a weird fortress laboratory in the middle of the dessert to rescue a little boy. What he discovers is another mad scientist much like the man who put him together.

In “Tomb of Kings” Clayton Cane is one again employed by the British Government to act as security for an archeological dig in Egypt. When the leader of the expedition unearths and revives the Nameless Pharaoh, Cane must ally himself with Arab dessert warriors to defeat an ancient army of monsters.

Back in the U.S. the man-made gunslinger is next hired by the cavalry to help down an old Indian shaman who may be unleashing an army of ghost braves to defend their land in the moving “Ghost Dances.”

In the seventh story, Cane travels south of the border hunting a gang of vicious stage coach robbers and teams up with a wily Mexican bandito named “Tarantula.”

Lastly Cane is hired by a foreign professor to help him track down the whereabouts of the Ragnorak Hammer before it can be used to destroy the world. When their hunt takes into a brutal Minnesota blizzard, they received unexpected aid from an immortal Viking legend.

“El Mosaico – Scarred Souls” is the epitome of New Pulp fun and originality.  It’s a dandy mash up of cowboys and creatures and the wise reader should saddle up and join Clayton Cane.  The ahead looks to be truly fantastic.

Monday, July 01, 2013


(A Walt Longmire Mystery)
By Craig Johnson
Penguin Books
306 pages

Happily one doesn’t have to read the Walt Longmire series in order to enjoy their levity, fast paced action and classic mystery formulas.  We should also point out that the highly popular television series, which is also a great deal of fun, is decidedly different from the books to make both unique and worthy of your attention for various reasons.

When the owner-manager of the local junkyard and landfill dies under mysterious reasons, Sheriff Longmire naturally suspects the big time land developer making noises to move the refuse facility.  But when that individual, upon escaping from custody, is shot to death in a small park in the middle of a snow blizzard, Longmire finds himself back to square one.

As anyone who has been following this series knows by now, the rugged high plains of Wyoming are as much a part of these tales as are the convoluted plots themselves.  Whereas with this particular case, poor old Longmire is really put through the physical ringer as he gets sprayed in the face with a heavy dose of Pepper Spray, bitten on the butt by a mean German Shepherd and in the end has a stack of scrapped automobiles dumped on him.  He somehow manages to survive all these challenges and bring the murderer to justice making him the quintessential western hero.

Of course this book has references to past exploits and although they don’t impede the enjoyment, they will make you want to go out and pick them up.  This is one series you won’t want to miss a single installment.