Long Shadows by Terry James Robert Hale; London. 2009
Readers of my blog know that I'm a big fan of Black Horse Westerns, an imprint of the Robert Hale publishing house in London. They offer page-turning, action-packed stories and are written by a group of talented writers. Now, Long Shadows, written by Terry James (a pseudonym of Joanne Walpole) is another reason for U.S. readers to start reading these little gems. Long Shadows is one of the freshest and most compelling Westerns I have read in a long time.
Our heroine, Ros West, returns home with a problem. Rather, more than one problem. She is suffering from memory loss due to a traumatic accident, and cannot seem to figure out why people want her dead. She has a protector in the name of Jake Rudd, a previous lover who still loves Ros. Unfortunately, Ros doesn't remember Jake and isn't about to re-live old times with him. Jake, in the meantime, has his hands full with local businessman Emmett Swain, who wants what he feels is deserving to him, which includes the West land.
The story simmers with tension, partly because of James' skill with point of view, but the unfolding mystery is what keeps the story moving so quickly and powerfully. The sexual tension between Jake and Ros don't hurt either. I loved James' willingness to stretch the boundaries of the traditional Western by including romance and mystery in a way that make the story new and fun and unforgettable.
...for a post related to pulp fiction, some posts are categorized according to the genre. So look under "pulp fiction," but also look under "pulp fiction - westerns" or "pulp fiction - detective," for example. Topics under "pulp covers" also have abbreviated historical information as well.