Ralph Cotton- Jackpot Ridge (Signet 2003) 3.5 Stars
When Jack Bell won seven hundred dollars in a poker game he had no idea the events it would set in motion. The owner who lost the money wanted it back and so he sent his men after him to collect it. He did not count on his men dying and one returning back with a lie that will haunt Jack Bell and any of his friends who try to protect him. Delbert Hanks, the survivor, has been embarrassed and he wants revenge at any cost. He’s hunting Jack Bell and only one will be returning home.
I loved the introduction to this novel. It started off with action, but not quite on you would expect. This beginning scene comes with a mix of just enough background knowledge to help the reader know what is going on, and the rest we find out later. The characters in Jackpot Ridge were wonderfully created, easy for the reader to feel that they know them and it is easy to decide who you like or dislike. I did find that I was not always interested, but I did keep reading to find out what would be the end result. I also found that at times I was extremely frustrated with how spineless some of the citizens were that they would just cower in fear and let the events transpire. I would like to think that with how tough western pioneers had to be that they would have a little more backbone. I did enjoy the ending as it wasn’t quite what you would expect and it made me smile. That being said I am not sure how I feel about this western, so I encourage you to read it for yourself to make your own decision.
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