Tag: Amber Taylor Jacob
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I see a well illustrated old west themed cover to a Louis L’Amour book, the title ‘The Broken Gun’ and I plunge into a novel that instantly confuses me. It takes a few pages to realize when in time this novel falls. There is no mention of it. There is a mention of 90 years before…but, before what?
By the third page the Korean War is mentioned.
Involving stroytelling, time should be established in some way off the top if a story about different time periods is being unraveled. Instead L’Amour leaves the reader at drift trying to figure out what’s going on.
Making the early part of the book worse is L’Amour’s poor approach to literally illustrating an urban setting.
Once the novel goes out to ranch lands of sand and rock, L’Amour hits his stride in describing the setting. But, time gets away from him again. L’Amour clearly had trouble with writing about his present.
A number of things bother me about the writing of this book. One involved an over long chase near the end. Another was one sentence involving a character that vanishes. Though clearly not the intent, the line is more surreal than consistent with the rhythm of the story.
The story is shakey, at best, and the conclusion over obvious.
Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 4 out of ten.
As usual the writing is good and the characterizations are very good. It’s just that it’s much same plot as so many of the Smoke Jensen series. Town taken over, Smoke comes to save the day. The bad guy is getting really repeated as another who kills puppies and eats children, or something along those lines.
What’s really disappointing is not even a twist in the story. There are a few alteration of characters, but that is all to lead to a conclusion we ‘Mountain Man’ readers know too well. Seems to me one alteration was Smoke in general. Smoke, seems to me, acting very different in this book from how he handles the bad guys and the interaction with other characters. This could be a sign of a different ghost writer.
Another trouble is the length of this one. I think about a third could’ve been cut out and focus more on the sheriff and Smoke and make this a tighter volume. There’s way too much nearly identical narrative and dialog from other books.
The volume before this, ‘Pursuit of the Mountain Man’, was a terrific diversion from this town takeover template and I hope the other volumes I’ve hunted down take more the ‘Pursuit’ trail.
Bottom line: Well, I see I need to have two.
1) If you’ve been reading the ‘Mountain Man’ series – No, don’t read it. This is more of the same.
2) If you haven’t read any or little of the series, Yes, read it.