Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Posse from Poison Creek by Lewis B. Patten


Dolan was silent a moment before he spoke. He sensed that he was on uncertain ground, and he wanted what he said to be just right. “I won’t change. I guess I don’t know how to convince you—not with words. But I won’t change.”


She didn’t answer him. But the silence was companionable, and he knew that she had accepted his words at face value. At least for now.


This brief novel by the solid Patten, while saddled with a formulaic name, is a bit more than a mere action tale of “Go get ‘em and bring ‘em back.”


It is that action tale, but it is more than that—it reads as a posse-procedural where we are privy to the interior considerations of Sheriff Webb Dolan and his weighing this or that contingency. He is plagued with a form of on-the-trail bureaucracy and the varying logistical planning of a long haul not often given voice in formulaic fiction.


These mature considerations make this tale a cut above. A worthy afternoon whiler.

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