I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The quick overview tells about a drifter with a bit of a past. Proficient with guns but down on his luck, he’s tired of being challenged at every turn. So, hearing about Bannack Montana where the streets run with Gold, he and his somewhat simple but eminently likeable sidekick strike off to make their fortune in the Gold Rush.
We meet them as they enter town and start to get acquainted with the residents. What they find is subterfuge and intrigue. Not only has the gold run out in the rivers and streams, but four powerful men are actively working gold mines and protecting their claims. Working for these mines is really the only option.
It also turns out that there is a group of highwaymen that waylay every gold shipment leaving town. Of course the mine owners are distressed with this development and are looking for a solution to their problem. It appears that Matt Kemp, may be their solution.
When Matt’s sidekick Billy is mysteriously murdered, Matt is drawn into the intrigue in his effort to avenge his friend. Shortly after he takes up the mantle, a US Marshall appears in town adding yet another layer to the story.
I won’t reveal the entire story, I’ll leave that to you to read further and enjoy the interplay between the characters. The many layers and levels of this story will keep you guessing. Just when you think you have something figured out, something happens to provide a plot twist and keep you reading.
I think you, like me, will completely enjoy this book. Once I started, this book was almost impossible to put down. I think that you too will be engaged by the story. It’s an easy read, keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, and is well worth the time.
The author, Rick Jantz has put together a website( Rick Jantz Writer ) where he talks about his journey with writing. Although he’s new to published Western works, his first book Colson’s law was released last fall, but was written over 20 years ago. This book written on an old word processing program was stored on 5 1/4 inch floppy disks. Since drives that read this format are few and far between, he had to re-create the book from an old hardcopy. I think this resurrected work was well worth the time spent to get into a format that we all can enjoy.