Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Noteworthy Reads: SHADOW MAN by Andrew McBride

SHADOW MAN is the second novel in Andrew McBride's Calvin Taylor series, though you needn't have read the previous title to thoroughly enjoy this one.

Taylor is a hard-bitten veteran of the harsh Southwest frontier, a former Army scout and prospector, now hired on to scout for the Cameron wagon train, a small outfit beginning the perilous trip from Ore City to Rio Azul. The undertaking would be brutal enough under any conditions but with some renegade Apaches under the leadership of a chief called Loco raiding throughout the area, Taylor tries his best to warn Major Cameron against starting out. But the people in Cameron's party are desperate and worn down by hard luck and getting to Rio Azul is their last hope --- so they're willing to take the gamble. And, in order to give them their best chance for survival, Taylor feels compelled to stick with them.
What follows is a rousing, gritty, action-adventure filled with drama, suspense, betrayal, tragedy, and even a hint of romance.

Taylor makes a terrific hero and the cast of supporting characters is also colorful and memorable. The story takes numerous twists and turns, pitting Taylor against odds that at times seem impossible to overcome --- yet by raw guts and determination, he does.

The real star here, ranking right alongside Taylor, is author McBride's writing skill. He paints a vivid picture of the time and place and relates gritty, unflinching scenes rich with the enduring spirit and sometimes the savagery of the times. Here is a writer to watch and to savor. I urge you to seek out all of his titles --- like I know I am going to.
You won't be sorry you did.


jrlindermuth said...

I read and reviewed Andrew's Peacemaker and plan to read more of his work. Good stuff.

Andrew McBride said...

Thanks very much, Wayne, for your very generous reviews and blog. You're far too kind. Writing western fiction is a tough way to make a living (though a very pleasurable one) and all support is greatly appreciated, particularly the tremendous support you've given. Good luck with your own fine work, across genres!

Peter Brandvold said...

Thanks for reviewing this, Wayne. I read PEACEMAKER on your recommendation and thoroughly loved it. I'll be picking this one up soon. Nice to see good writing out there in the western field.

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