LONGARM AND THE ROCK SPRINGS RECKONING

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Number 434 of 436 + 29 Giant Editions
By Tabor Evans
Cover illustration by Milo Sinovcic
Jove, January 2015

After saving soiled dove Lucy Potter from two attackers, Longarm takes pity on the young woman. He buys her a new dress, gets her cleaned up, and takes her out for a fancy steak dinner. Lucy’s got a good heart, and Longarm hopes his kindness might encourage the jaded prostitute to try another line of work.

But before Lucy can begin her new life, she’s killed by the same men who attacked her. Blinded by rage, Longarm can no longer see the line between justice and revenge. He turns in his badge and rides off after the killers. But as he trails them to Rock Springs, her learns the killing was premeditated – and greed was the motive. . . 

What at first seems like a straight-forward revenge tale slowly takes on a few twists as Lucy Potter’s family become involved and Longarm finds he has a puzzle to solve. Were any of Lucy’s family responsible for her death? Most of Longarm’s investigation takes place in the last quarter of the story, the earlier chapters used for introducing various characters and Longarm forming a plan to track down Lucy’s killers. The author also follows the murderers flight for a couple of chapters which helps make the reader wonder how Longarm will ever catch up to them.

The author paces the book well and kept me turning the pages as I wanted to discover whether Longarm would just kill those he hunted to satisfy his need for vengeance, or would he control that urge and attempt to arrest them? 

There’s not a lot of gunplay in this story which may disappoint some. The Longarm books are an adult series but sex is kept to a bare minimum, just a couple of pages in total. This tale is more a murder mystery with Longarm just asking questions, listening and watching to find out who was behind Lucy’s killing.

For me, I wouldn’t place this Longarm book up there with the best the series has to offer, but it did keep me entertained. The final scenes offering some surprises into the fate of a couple of the characters that tied the story up neatly.  

An observation on the book itself. The Longarm books are around 180 pages long, but this one has blank pages so all chapters can start on a right-hand page and those chapters start about half-way down the page. All that means is that the story is 30 pages shorter than the overall count. 

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