Sunday, November 27, 2016

Last Mountain Man #02 - Return of the Mountain Man

William W. Johnstone's sequel to "The Last Mountain Man" proves to be a little underwhelming considering the raw intensity and power of the first book. Once again the author brings fast-draw Smoke Jensen and Preacher into a wild west full of gunpowder and iron fists. This one came out in 1986 and marks an important turn of events for Smoke in the long running series. 

After his wife Nicole and baby Arthur were killed in the first book, our hero lays low for a year or two and bides his time. Soon he straps on the iron, loads the rifle and sets out for the town of Bury, Idaho where three outlaws, Potter, Stratton and Richards, are running the town from money stolen from Smoke's father and brother. 

Smoke's name and famed events from the first book are known throughout the country at this point so he changes his name to Buck so he can secretly ease into town. Once there, he settles into normal life for a few days, plotting a plan of attack to eliminate the three outlaws. He gains an assist from the old mountain men including Preacher and meets a young school teacher named Sally, who he will later marry. But this book is about revenge and that's what Johnstone delivers. 

After the first novel's exciting turn of events, and a rather epic presentation, this one is fairly simple. Buck hits the town, bangs up the baddies, rides home and settles in with Sally. It's really quite basic and elementary. However, true to Johnstone's style the book is filled with fast-draw showdowns on the streets of Bury and a climatic finish with a load of gun-play. Overall, a decent early entry to a series that can deliver better stories.

Buy a copy of this book HERE

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