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The Bloody Spur Hardcover – 15 February 2018
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About the Author
Max Allan Collins, Shamus Award winner and 2017 Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Edgar Award winner, is theNew York Timesbestselling author of fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels, includingRoad to Perdition,which was adapted into the Oscar-winning film starring Paul Newman and Tom Hanks. He is the author of a number of popular mysteries, includingQuarry,which was adapted into a Cinemax original crime drama series. He and his wife also co-author the acclaimed Trash 'n' Treasures cozy mystery series under the name Barbara Allan. In addition to writing, Collins is a filmmaker and created the documentaryMike Hammer's Mickey Spillane. He lives in Iowa and can be found online at www.MaxAllanCollins.com.
- Publisher : KENSINGTON (15 February 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1617735981
- ISBN-13 : 978-1617735981
- Dimensions : 16.51 x 4.06 x 23.62 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Cullen’s former partner, Burt O’Malley, has recently returned from a twenty-year stint in the pen for manslaughter. And hired gun Alver Hollis, the much-feared Preacherman, has also shown up with two cronies, claiming they’re in town for the biggest poker game in the territory.
With murder in the wind, the whole town’s in danger. Who will be the next target? To bring a killer to justice, and protect the woman he loves, Caleb York must strap down his Colt .44, enter the big game, and bet his life on the turn of a card... and the speed of his draw.
MY THOUGHTS: I hadn't read the previous two books in this series, but it wasn't necessary. The Bloody Spur stands well on its own. And that's not to say that I won't be going back to read them, because I will.
This is a rollicking good read with all the ingredients of a good western - gunslingers, wild women, card games, fights, greed and corruption. The characters are largely what you would expect - the hard-hitting no-nonsense sheriff and his somewhat stupid deputy, the local madam, the hard-headed rancher, and. ... well, you get the picture.
The Bloody Spur has everything I look for in a Western.
Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Bloody Spur by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Top reviews from other countries
Picking up where the previous novel in the series left off, York, the sheriff of the small but lively western town of Trinidad in the late 1800s, finds himself in the middle of a public dispute. Seems the town fathers want to allow the Santa Fe Railroad to pass through their town & pump up local business, but Bar-O rancher & majority landowner George Cullen (whose daughter Willa is York’s sort-of girl friend) won’t allow the trains onto his land. Adding to that tense situation is a notorious gunman, the Bible quoting Preacherman, coming into town, possibly hired to kill someone, the unexpected return of Cullen’s ex partner who’s free after serving 20 years for manslaughter, an upcoming poker tournament at the Victory dance hall & saloon, and the mysterious death of one of of Trinidad’s leading citizens. York must find out if any or all of these events are connected, before somebody else gets killed.
Collins does a fine job sketching the characters of York and his supporting cast, and manages to give a suitably bloody violent climax at the end. (The Preacherman is somebody you won't forget anytime soon.) Note that two characters from the previous novels are dispatched (one fatally) and that things in Trinidad are going to be a lot different in forthcoming installments. Meanwhile, check out The Bloody Spur!
Mickey Spillane & Max Collins
Caleb North Novel
Reading this book is like stepping into a Frederick Remington painting. The author has carefully created in lush detail, the exacting depictions of the American West and the characters who are just a little larger than life. I’ve read many westerns and the styles vary widely. I also like the sparse approach of Elmore Leonard as well as Louis L’amour’s frontier stories with focus on the family.
The book starts off with a dilemma. Embrace new technology or reject it. The Santa Fe railroad wants to come to town. Their reasons are not entirely altruistic. Expansion is very good for the railroad.
The theme of (inevitable) change is reinforced throughout the story. We find a rancher with no sons whose estate is being run by his daughter. It’s the end of the era for gunfighters too — communication and transport make running and hiding less viable options. And, it’s the end of cattle drives with the trains available to transport the cattle. As one character says, “Civilization is coming to the West, my friends. No getting around it. We must adapt or go the way of the buffalo.”
Caleb North’s character shows his humor, vulnerability and sense of honor as the town’s sheriff, and ex-finance and a key member of the community. He’s quick to point out his own self-interest to those asking his advice. This sense of chivalry reminds me of the knights from tales of Arthur.
I enjoyed the complexity of the main character. He’s a natural leader, though he doesn’t seem to want the role unlike the Barber/Mayor and the rest of the town representatives. They seem to want power without the responsibility.
In contrast to North’s good nature, the ‘bad guys’ aren’t all bad either; just people who made bad choices, mistakes and even misread events.
At the end of the day, this story is about people like us living in the last days of the American frontier west. Collins makes it come to life and I long to have lived in one of these stories.
I'm looking forward to the rest, starting with book one.