GAUGE BLACK – Hell’s Revenge
By Mark Justice
Available at Amazon
Revenge plots are a standard in westerns but in “Gauge Black – Hell’s Revenge,” author Mark Justice rips the format to shreds in this unforgiving tale. A Corporal in the Union Army during the Civil War, Gauge Black wants nothing more than to return to his life as a farmer once peace is declared. He is savagely robbed of that goal when several privates, in retaliation for a few disciplinary reports, accuse Black of torturing and killing a captured Confederate officer during the final days of the conflict.
Scared the news of the atrocity will reach Washington, the Advocate General and his staff opt to ignore Black’s pleas of innocent and with only unsubstantiated testimonies, find him guilty. He is sentenced to serve three years in an Arizona federal prison known as Hell.
Run by the sadistic Warden Peck, Black endures the worst depravities imaginable and uses his obsessive desire for revenge to survive. He endures each attack and brutally murders other inmates at the Warden’s pleasure. No sin is too perverse to stop him. The three years pass and finally papers arrive officially sanctioning his release. What leaves Hell is not the wronged army corporal, but a violent killing machine with absolutely no conscience left. Gauge Black has only one desire, to make those who stole his life suffer and die…as painfully as possible.
Justice prose is knife sharp and by the time his protagonist has begun his mission of vengeance, the reader soon learns there is not a single ounce of redemption left in this story. In the end, Gauge Black is a heartless monster who lives to destroy his creators.
This is rough stuff, pulp readers. You’ve been warned.