Paperback: 428 pages
Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
Reviewed by V. Caine
Set in the Nevada Territory just after the Civil War, this novel tells the saga of the Maynwarings, one of the founding families in Carson City. A respectable family headed by Barron, a United States Senator, and his family his wife Eleanor and their children, Mary Catherine, Breckenridge, Houston, and Stokes. The Maynwarings own several buildings in the town, along with a large cattle ranch called The Greenbrier outside of town.
Then one day, things start to take a downward turn. A sinister stranger rides into town, like a villain from Clint Eastwood film. Giddeon Van Thorn is well dressed, elegant, suave, manipulative, and downright dastardly. Van Thorn has plans to develop Carson City, which include buying up a large portion of it, and the hapless but honest Maynwarings are destined to cross paths with him.
It doesn’t take long for the bodies count to start – first a neighbouring rancher, Dan Arkin, is found dead, several hours after a poker game that went bad. The Maynwarings decide to investigate this; but unfortunately this incident goes badly for them. Without saying too much and spoiling the plot of the book, this where the action starts to heat up, true gritty western style with hangings, gunfights – and the body count starts to rise. And if this isn’t enough trouble for our heroes the Maynwarings, the ranch also comes under threat from anthrax.
The story is captivating from start to finish, with a true aura of the Wild West and excellent character portrayal. The book weaves a web of social and political intrigue as characters play out roles that unfold into dramas that will rock the town to its core in a final epic scene. There is no shortage of action either and it strikes the perfect balance between drama and violence that many westerns lack. Murders, hangings, intrigue and mystery – all with a shock twist ending that leaves the reader literally begging for more at the end.
Strongly recommended for anyone who enjoys historical thrillers or the Western genre.
The Maynwarings is available here