Colt’s Justice Chasing a shadow, Dusty Saddle Publishing, an e-book copyright and written by Cherokee Parks.
This volume is the first that follows the adventures of Coulton ‘Colt’ Raines, a veteran of numerous battles on the side of the South during the Civil War, now a happily married farmer. Unfortunately/fortunately, Colt also is a man blessed with natural instincts and lightning reflexes combined with learned abilities that have made him well-known as a relentless and lethal pursuer. The local Sheriff brings a Mr. Jack Devereaux around to see if Colt will help this man. His daughter Rachel had run away with a smooth talking gambler several years before and he will not allow him to see her or her young son Jackie, now six years old. He is a wealthy railroad executive, dying and would like to see them before he dies. He offers Colt $10,000 to find and return her and the boy within the next six months as that is the time he has to live and Rachel’s husband reportedly is treating them both badly as well. Colt agrees, only after consulting with Sissy, his wife, and sets off in a train provided by Devereaux and discovers the man has numerous aliases, is wanted in numerous towns, and finds that he seems now to have become involved in a vicious scheme that involves members of a travelling circus, train workers, station agents, and even Wells-Fargo and Pinkerton agents. The tale recounts the manner in which Colt conducts his investigation and pursuit.
Discussion: This a tale of the old west, but in a manner somewhat changed from the one usually encountered. Specifically, it adds a new ‘wrinkle’ quite different from the more usual ‘time honored’ plots. The action is non-stop and the author’s knowledge of his subject, terrain and era are excellent. The only really unfortunate aspect of the book, is that his proofreader has ‘let him down’. The first half of the book exhibits only very occasional repeats or missing words. However and most regrettably, they gradually grow in number as the reader moves toward the most interesting climax and perhaps is more annoying because of this unique ending offered. The proofing errors are NOT to be attributed to the dialect used throughout, which is far superior to almost anything I have read attempting to use this means of expression.
Conclusion: Uniquely plotted western with an unusual climax but most unfortunate and regrettable proofing.
4* Uniquely plotted western with an unusual climax; -1 for regrettable proofing.