“Blood on the Trail” is set in the old west, the “Wild West,” where horses are fast and so are the bullets. The action unfolds in the open country with the horses, the pursuit, the bullets, the prisoner and the outlaw gang. This is Montana, not yet a state in March 1841, and William Henry Harrison is president. The country is wild and unhampered as is the action; a lot happens in just a few days.
Twenty-four year old Deputy United States Marshal Jeremiah Halstead arrives on the pages fully formed with a complex and unsavory backstory that is gradually shared with readers. He is a thinking man, a planning man, and the deadliest thing to hit town since yellow fever. He has a prisoner to deliver and a gang on his trail. Along the way he finds racial prejudice, social injustice, distrust of establishment, and the murder of a young woman that must be solved. Of course, McCauley also gives Halstead a Havana cigar just because he can.
The “Wild West” of 150 years ago shares many things with culture today. Influence, power, and economics interfere with justice, and society is reluctant to accept change. Outlaws have their own organizational structure with status is based on “achievements” no matter how unsavory the actions.
Terrence McCauley incorporates all the elements that readers look for in a compelling book. There are multifaceted characters, roller coaster thrills, complex conflicts, nail-biting tension, nonstop action and a murder to be solved. I am not a regular reader of “Westerns,” but a good book is just that – a good book, no matter the setting, and this is a good book
“Blood on the Trail” is now available in print, e-book, and as an audiobook from independent bookstores, online booksellers, retail stores, public libraries and anywhere books are sold.