Tag: mountain man’
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.
‘Law of the Mountain Man’ follows the trail of the four books in the series before it and tends to rehash most of those plots. Either Johnstone was trying to best the books before ‘Law of…’ or the publisher asked for more of the same. There are some definite differences and it’s still a good book, but the fundamentals are way too similar. For someone reading just this book, the novel is very, very good.
The writing is very good as a whole, but there are some obvious missteps that even a bad editor should have caught. Seems to me that Johnstone found himself in the midst of starting this series along with pumping out other books in different genres and ran into trouble.
A huge gold star goes to Johnstone in having a ton of characters in this book and being able to discern who is who. Something I had trouble with in the book I read before this by Louis L’Amour.
I’ll continue on from here and hope for better in that this series has continued from this 1989 book to now, 2013. I’m getting pessimistic, though.