Thursday, July 14, 2016
[book review] The Big Showdown (A Caleb York Western)
This is actually the second in a series based off the notes of author Mickey Spillane, yes, that Mickey, who entrusted his notes and characters to another of my favorite authors, Max Allan Collins. Collins is the author of the Quarry series which you need to read.
This was a very quick read, no doubt due to Mr Collins' excellent writing. I enjoyed this book, keeping in mind what it is: A solid western.
That said, I clearly could feel Spillane's hands all over this one. Yes it was a western, with many of the usual tropes but it was also something much more like a Hammer novel with some detective work and a solid mystery in need of solving. The characters are pretty straight forward and realistic, even York's amazing gun work seems plausible. The wrapping up of the mystery seemed a little rushed but honestly this was ok because the story cycled through nicely to its conclusion.
York is tough, much like Hammer, but in a more realistic way. Compared to Det. Hammer, York seemed to have genuine doubt about situations and a little more nervous about coming out on the other side ok. He took stock in the situation, added an ally or two when needed and carefully planned his actions. Hammer seems to just wander in, confident that he is untouchable.
All in all, I recommend this. If you enjoy westerns, or even a little mystery, I would think you would enjoy this. I am hoping Collins finds these books successful and continues the series in the future.