Saturday, November 02, 2013
Longarm and the Devil's Bride
Sat down with Devil's Bride and really enjoyed it. It starts out like a crime story in Western duds with deputy U.S. Marshall Custis Parker Long, aka Longarm, being assigned to look for a young woman named Angela Boothe who has gone missing in Kansas City. Longarm takes an all night train to Kansas but when he arrives the local law enforcement is little help and no sooner has he begun to nose around than somebody tries to kill him for his troubles.
But Longarm isn't easy to kill and he's soon back on the trail. Worth mentioning is that author Reasoner has written quite a few mysteries as well as Westerns so the detective work here has an authentic feel to it. Longarm has to do some deductive reasoning to get on the right track. That leads him to my favorite Western city, Santa Fe New Mexico, where he does indeed find the young lady but also finds more questions than answers and he begins to suspect something strange and sinister is afoot. I'm about to give a possible spoiler so you can stop right here if you want. Go buy the book. I highly recommend it. A good story with plenty of action to be had. And this one doesn't have a Scooby Doo ending. There really is some supernatural stuff going on.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. You've been warned.
I wanted to mention one bit I really enjoyed. When Longarm finds himself in the main bad guy's house he enters the library where he finds some old books. They mean nothing to Longarm but he does note that the authors have strange names like Von Junzt and Alhazred. I was grinning like an idiot at that point.
I also wondered if one of the other villains, Lucius Thorne, had been named in honor of John Thunstones' nemesis Rowley Thorne.