AVENGING ANGELS – Solomon’s Mine
By Chuck Dixon writing as A. W. Hart
For those who came in late, Wolfpack is a pulp-paperback
outfit publishing some of the finest western books on the market today. Much
like the old pulp mags of the past, the editors at Wolfpack whip up a series concept,
create the characters that will be featured and then assign it a house
pen-name. In this case, A.W. Hart’s Avenging Angel is a series of adventures
featuring brother and sister Reno
and Sarah Bass. After their entire family was gunned down by outlaws, the siblings
hunted them down and claimed their vengeance. That mission completed, both
realized that had developed a rather grisly talent for hunting and killing and
so logically accepted their new careers as bounty hunters.
In “Solomon’s Mine,” the pair head for the Nevada and a town called Mollie Wells where
they hope to collect the thousand dollar reward for one Butcher Holt. As they
travel, they gather information on their target and learn Holt is recruiting a
small army of gunfighters, Indians and half-breed killers in order to steal a
hidden silver mine being operated by a group of freed slaves. At the end of the
civil war, a Jewish landowner named Solomon had migrated west with his former
slaves whom he had given their freedom. When they discovered the silver vein deep
in the rocky hills, Solomon cautioned his people that its location must be kept
hidden. After his death, the small community of blacks continued to maintain
their seclusion only sending out a single rider once a month to purchase
After several years of failed attempts to find the mine,
Holt’s patience expired and Reno
and Sarah arrive in town within days of Holt’s departure with is gang of cutthroats.
He is determined find the enclave and claim the riches for himself, even if it
means killing every man, woman and child who get in his way. All of which makes
Reno and Sarah’s
job a whole lot harder.
A gifted writer with a background in comics, Dixon’s writing is always cinematic. He paints both people and settings with sharp, clear phrases and his plot never lets up for a second. Westerns should always be about good versus evil, hard men and women and tons of gunplay. In “Solomon’s Mine” Dixon delivers on all count. This is a whopping fun read. Saddle up, partners and don’t miss it.