Crazy Horses

Review: Crazy Horses, David J. West, 2017. 

Cover by Anna Stansfield

There’s a lot less lead thrown about in this sequel to Scavengers, but I liked it more.

It’s a pursuit story with Porter Rockwell and friends Roxy Lejune and Quincy Jackson both the pursuers and pursued.

At the end of Scavengers, Rockwell’s blood brother Chief Redbone showed up asking for Rockwell’s help after Mexican slaver Matamoros, who survived the carnage at the lost Spanish gold mine, kidnapped Redbone’s daughter.

That carnage produced 63 missing people in the Thorn massacre, and Territorial Marshall Brody Shaw thinks Rockwell had something to do with that. Brody wants to see Rockwell hang, and, as we see, he’s not above forging evidence to produce a conviction. Shaw’s hatred of Rockwell goes back to New York State when Mormon founder Joseph Smith stole Shaw’s flock away.

So, Rockwell and friends are pursued by Shaw as they pursue Matamoros through the desert around the Colorado River. They’ll encounter some of the women Rockwell freed from Matamoros in Scavengers after the slaver killed their husbands and raped them. One girl, Emily, stows away with the Rockwell party as they travel down the Colorado to follow Matamoros.

There’s a lot to like here. There is the Uninvited, a vampiric entity who appears as an old man seeking camp fires, the final showdown between Rockwell and Matamoros, and the bloodbath at the lair of Mala Cosa. He’s a sorcerer Matamoros needs to redeem himself with, and the price of redemption is Redbone’s daughter.

This one ends on a grim note.

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