Rye Callahan is a relentless bounty hunter, grimly determined to always bring in his prisoner, even if he literally has to go through Hell to get the job done.
Callahan is the protagonist in these action-packed short features recently released by James Reasoner via his Rough Edges Press. He is a tough, hardboiled Western character that I, for one, certainly wouldn't mind reading more about.
But, as is generally the case, the real star in these tales is Reasoner's polished writing. Anybody out there who wants to become a genre writer or simply hone their craft as one—you can take courses and go to lectures and all that sort of thing … or you can simply read and savor the work of veterans like James. It's all right there on the page. He hooks the reader in just a few sentences and then propels said reader along, never letting up, until the final word is arrived at … and more are wished for.
Want proof? Read the first couple paragraphs of LAST CHANCE CANYON then see if you can put it down and walk away without getting withdrawal symptoms from wanting to go back and get the rest of the rush of finding out what happens next.
Both of these titles are billed as "weird westerns" and there certainly are supernatural elements present in each, but as much as anything they are just gritty, damn good Westerns.
LAST CHANCE CANYON has an interesting back story as it was originally written a number of years ago, only to see limited foreign market release. Then the manuscript for it—along with any likelihood of the tale ever seeing American exposure—was lost in a fire. But a recently revived copy and subsequent translation allowed Reasoner to revive it, punch it up a bit, and make it available to a wider range of lucky readers.
In addition to trying to outwit and survive the cunning of his quarry, bounty hunter Rye Callahan finds himself desperately trying to escape the soul-hungry clutches of a desolate haunted canyon where the dead don't want to stay dead and the living have only the slimmest chance of getting out in one piece.
THE LAST STAGECOACH TO HELL brings bounty hunter Rye Callahan, along with his latest prisoner, to the town of Providence, Arizona Territory. Although the citizens of the town at first seem friendly enough – although in a strangely dazed kind of way – it won't be long before Callahan and his bounty find out that their biggest fight for survival may not be against each other, but rather for either of them to get the Hell out of Providence alive.
Both available in eBook format at a steal of a price, and both highly recommended.
Don't miss 'em!