Saturday, 13 June 2009

THE TARNISHED STAR by Jack Martin

Sheriff Cole Masters knows that a showdown is coming. Locked away in a cell is Sam Bowden - a man who has killed a whore. A man who thinks that he can do what he likes because his father is Clem Bowden who holds the town in the palm of his hands.
With only an old timer, Em Tanner, and his schoolmistress fiance to back him Cole Masters knows that the odds are against him.
Clem Bowden comes into the town of Squaw with a bunch of men and Sheriff Cole Masters finds himself humiliated and out of a job.
What follows is Cole Masters attempt to regain his honour and his badge.
Up to now we have only known author Jack Martin through his short stories under that name and as Gary Dobbs. So how does he stand up with his first novel.
First off he creates a believable character in Cole Masters and makes the reader feel his humiliation to the point that I wanted this character to come through. Sam Bowden is bad but his father Clem is cut from a different cloth and I would be spoiling this character study by relating the how and why.
Add to this two minor characters Quill and Boyd who's brief passage through the story is quite effective.
For a first novel - it reads like Gary has been doing this all his life and can only get better.

5 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

Thanks Ray - I was particularly pleased because I always felt Tarnished Star was more character driven than event driven. I'm really glad you liked it.

David Cranmer said...

Amazon says my copy shipped yesterday. I'm looking forward to it even more now. Informative review Ray, thanks.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds good. I'm looking forward to mine.

Paul Brazill said...

I can't wait to read it. A Man Called Masters was great.

Nik said...

Just finished the book, Ray, and I have to agree. Certainly means I'll be looking forward to Gary's next BHW, Arkansas Smith!
Nik (Ross Morton)