Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Road to Rimrock

I was lucky enough to get an advance view of a western novel set for release next month by Black Horse Westerns -an excellent outfit across the Big Pond, the United Kingdom to be exact, that has been producing action-oriented westerns since the 1960s. The novel in question is Road to Rimrock, by Chuck Tyrell -an American living in Japan, writing for a top-notch British press that specializes in the American West... and he's as interesting as he sounds.

Matt Stryker is the marshal at Rimrock, Arizona... a mining town whose silver mine has played out, and which even the most optimistic citizens would admit is possibly on its way to ghost town status. Stryker's job mostly consists of putting the town drunk, Stan Ruggart, away for the night. But then one day everything changed...

"Stan Ruggart went on living and drinking, Matt Stryker went on making his rounds, and Rimrock went on dying. Then Tom Hall rode in."

Soon Stryker is caught up in murder and conspiracy, unsure who to trust as he carries out a promise to a dead friend. He gains several unlikely allies along the way (including, briefly, Wolf Wilder -protagonist of Tyrell's novel A Man Called Breed.) He also picks up enemies -targeted not only by the killers he pursues, but also a trio of gunmen from his past, bent on revenge, and a couple of very shady ladies. The story unfolds via Tyrell's usual well-paced action and engaging dialogue.

For decades now -off and on -people have been pronouncing the death knell of the Western, much as the Rimrock of this novel is written off as a dying prospect. But it keeps bouncing back, as new generations of writers infuse their energy into the genre and give it new twists even as they pay homage to its storied traditions. There are several such authors on the scene in the 21st century, and Chuck Tyrell is right there at their leading edge. I have read and enjoyed several of his books in the last couple of years, and he is becoming a name well worth noting. If you haven't read his work yet, Road to Rimrock will be released on July 1- you can sign up for an amazon email reminder HERE.  Until then, you can try one of these other books -all worth your money if you love Westerns, especially the good old-fashioned kind.



1 comment:

  1. Troy, these all look like great stories. I just need about 30 more hours in my day so I can read them all (and all the other great western books and short stories out there right now!)Now you know I'm going to have to add Road to Rimrock to my TBR list...this is just the kind of western I love to read.