William W. Johnstone- Warpath of the Mountain Man (Pinnacle Books 2002) 3.75 Stars
Bank Robbers murder a man, injuring another and Smoke Jensen captures them for the law, but the outlaws are well-connected and bust out of prison. In revenge they kill the family of the man who was in charge of the jury, who just happens to be an old friend of Smoke’s, except that they made it look like it was a native uprising. Now Smoke must get to bottom of it and find the killer’s bringing them to justice, before and all out war begins. Smoke wants justice and the best justice he knows comes from the end of a gun…followed by a trail of smoke.
I thought that this was the first of Johnstone’s books I was reading, but the character of Smoke Jensen brought back memories of when I was much younger, I read one of this series at that time. I remember enjoying Jensen’s character then and was not surprised to find that the same was the case now. He is a tough as nails, no nonsense kind of man and it makes for the perfect western character. The villains were the kind of people you despise and do not mind getting shot to bits for their treachery. His characters seem to fit in perfectly with the time period and the plot was plausible (although unlikely). I loved the flow of the story and the places it took the reader. Johnstone does an excellent job of bringing the reader back to the western frontier. One thing that did bother me was the naivety of Covington, and the stupidity of some of the men following him. Although I guess he was blinded by political greed and a desire for power, which may have clouded his judgement.
I recommend Warpath of the Mountain Man to western readers.
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