Release date: February 4, 2014
Though set in 1837 northern Pennsylvania, this is in the spirit of a true western, during a time when much of rural Pennsylvania was still wild and lawless. Twelve year old Thomas Walker sets out from New York City with his father to sell a new Colt revolver but they hardly make it beyond Milton, PA, just shy of central Pennsylvania, before his father is murdered by a lawless and violent man. In his efforts to return home, Thomas makes his way along the road with a reluctant guide, former Indiana Ranger and War of 1812 Veteran, Henry Stands. Just as they are beginning to bond, danger threatens them.
I was surprised to discover the author is British and still lives in the UK because the American “West” really comes alive so easily with an authentic narrative. That is saying something coming from a born-and-bred Pennsylvanian with a love of local history. Although the short, adventurous plot makes this a fast paced page turner, it’s also quite literary and the character development, in particular Henry Stands, is what really makes this novel shine. Very enjoyable read and I look forward to what the author will have to offer in the future.