“Where Bullets Fly” by Terrence McCauley opens in Dover Station, Montana, 1888.
“Sheriff Aaron Mackey had just finished another coughing jag when he heard the ruckus carry up Front Street from the Tin Horn Saloon. A gentle breeze carried the sounds of shouted curses and breaking glass to the jailhouse porch where Mackey sat.”
McCauley Immediately paints a familiar picture of life in the old west with its lack of medical care, debilitating illness, uncontrolled rowdiness, questionable morals (by today’s standards) dependence on alcohol, and general lack of manners. The world moves by stage and rail while the city is concerned with mining and logging rather than improving infrastructure as evidenced by buckboards across boards the muddy thoroughfare that served as streets.
Gun violence is rampant, and the response and retaliation is immediate. One day someone shows up looking for the unfortunate victims of a recent midtown shoot-out.
“My associates and I have come to town looking for some friends of ours who have gone missing.”
The action is conversation driven, and readers find well-defined characters that fit with today’s expectation of society at the time. The presence of veterans of the “War Between The States” provides a diverse and colorful cast. The plot and conversation and hit on every detail associated with the era right down to the sheriff’s rocking chair and the town cemetery behind the blacksmith’s shop.
Crime is crime, no matter the setting, and justice, well justice is tempered by society.
“I promised you justice. Never said anything about it being white man’s justice.”
I received a copy of “Where the Bullets Fly” from Terrence McCauley, Kensington Books, Pinnacle, and NetGalley. There is drama, excitement, and sarcastic humor on every page. I am not a regular reader of “Western” fiction, but the “Old West” is all over classic television, and now it is reappearing in novels. Fans will love this book