Sunday, November 27, 2016

Last Mountain Man #03 - Trail of the Mountain Man

The third book in William W. Johnstone's western series arrived in 1987, proving that the author was delivering a book a year for this series among all the other genre fiction he was writing at the same time. Amazing how much output came from this author in so little time. 

"Trail of the Mountain" finds Smoke and his wife Sally settling into sprawling Sugarloaf ranch in Colorado. They are now raising an adopted son named Ben or Billy (the stable boy from book two). When a vein of gold is found in a little town called No Name, it sets off a furious chain of events for the Jensen family. Hundreds of gold rushers ride into town and start staking claims in the area. With a gold rush comes a boom town and the ill-effects leads to gunfighters, brothels, gambling and reckless abandonment in search for the almighty dollar. With this much action threatening to consume the Jensen property...well it's only a matter of time before the lead is flying.

Smoke's land retains a sliver of the gold vein. Even though he has staked the land and its minerals for himself...there are still those bad apples that have to break all the rules. Smoke fights for himself and some other homeowners who are too lazy to lift a gun when their rights are infringed upon. With a whole town of thievery and lawlessness, Smoke is backed into a corner and fights his way out with the help of recurring character Preacher and some aging "last" mountain men. 

In many ways this is a more superior novel than it's predecessor and brings in some of the lovable parts of the mountain men. Their antics are humorous and when the bullets start flying they prove they are more than just fat fodder. This is laughable, enjoyable and action packed. It's quite simply just a good western tale and one that cements the early stages of this long running series.

Buy a copy of this book HERE

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