Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Lance Howard - The Devil's Rider

Published: 2008 by Robert Hale - Black Horse Western.

From the opening of this book the reader sees into the mind of Jeremy Trask as he and three other gang members prepare to slaughter the inhabitants of the town of Baton Ridge. From the start Trask is out for revenge.
The book centres around four characters - Trask, himself and Spring Treller the only survivor of the massacre; Jim Darrow who is filled with guilt that he had allowed his brother to be killed by Trask and Trallie Hicks - one of the gang.
Lance Howard builds his characters and breathes life into them.
However, this is a story that has a depth that makes the reader think about the effects of the story.
I would recommend this book.

The first Lance Howard novel that I read was 'THE WIDOW MAKER' (1997 - BHW). It was differant to anything that I had read. There was the outlaw leader, Brace Carrigan, who led a bunch of female outlaws who only shot men and made widows of their wives.
This book is memorable to me for the darker shades that occur when a Chinese woman treats the manhunter, Steve Matthews', wounds after he has been attacked by 'indians'. His delirium dreams are something akin to a psychadelic trip.

Lance Howard also writes horror stories under the name of Howard Hopkins (who's latest book is The Chloe Files' details are on his Dark Bits blog). Sometimes there is a cross over into his westerns giving them either a dark flavour or a supernatural feel as in 'THE SILVER-MINE SPOOK' (2003 - BHW) for example.

Looking forward to Lance's 30th Western.


Steve M said...

The inclusion of horror elements is what has made Lance Howard one of my favourite BHW writers.

Ray said...

I have a respect for Howard's output and now collect them. So far have five but the collection is growing.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Howards always writes a good story - I've read several of his books and haven't found one I didn't like.