“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Beyond the romanticized notions of the old west and the falsely propagated ideals of the real man, there exists certain characters whose brutal actions have taken away the choice of others by the use of the gun and the suppression of free will. In such a setting, it is necessary that a force rises to restore the balance of power & the freedom of choice to men.
Author Richard Dawes’ latest novel ‘Comanche Gold’ is the sixth book in the Tucson Kid Western series. Heeding a call for help sent out by a Comanche chief, Tucson intervenes on the Comanche’s behalf to keep greedy white men off their reservation after gold has been discovered. The trouble is instigated by Charles Durant, the owner of the biggest bank and the de facto leader of the nearby town, Howling Wolf. The town supplies a regular mix of villainous snakes who try to stop Tucson from carrying out his mission. But the same land provides a few allies for Tucson who give him aid and comfort. In the town of Howling Wolf, the Kid demonstrates once again that he isn’t dependent only upon his gun skills to prevail as he battles powerful enemies.
It’s fun to watch the enigma of Tucson and the pull of his power as he impacts the townspeople when he rides into town. Tucson hasn’t changed much from the person you’ve come to know, his existentialist persona is still intact and he still advocates finding one’s true purpose in life. This time out, Tucson isn’t thrown into action immediately and some time is spent delineating his character, pretty much reveling in the admiration and the hero worship that others show toward him. Comanche Gold moves along at a more languid pace, and there isn’t a thrill a minute in these pages, but a more measured display of his amazing fighting skills, all building toward an exciting finale. And just as in the previous outings, Richard Dawes describes the culture and heritage of Comanche Indians, and the native tribes – just one of the many aspects of this series that elevate it above other books in the western genre.
This book is in many ways perfect for readers who are being introduced to the series for the first time. You will see and understand the man and his philosophy and experience his extraordinary ability with his guns. A case in point is his confrontation with Ramon Vasquez and Wolf Cabot, two murderous gunmen who attempt to ambush him in a gunfight. Tucson’s relationship with women in the books is always special. They’re filled with lots of sensuality without neglecting respect and chivalry. And it’s no different in Comanche Gold where Tucson’s relationship with Catherine Murry is given the usual treatment.
Charles Durant is a special villain in that even though he doesn’t get as much space as the villains in this series usually get, he is still a very strong antagonist for Tucson and not merely a cardboard cut-out of how a ‘bad’ person should be. One scene that stood out for me was Tucson’s and Catherine’s exchange of thoughts as they ride along a trail together. Another memorable scene was the one where Tucson and Durant discuss the future of government and governance. They are some of the most intellectually stimulating ideas and thoughts you will find in a fictional genre of this kind. Another scene I enjoyed for brilliant writing technique was after Tucson is captured by Charles Durant’s henchmen. In his escape, the stealth and secrecy involved was captured with superb artistry.
Comanche Gold is a well written Western that goes far beyond what an ordinary Western does and will hold your attention throughout. Richard Dawes has proved once again that he is an expert when it comes to writing an interesting, fast paced story that will leave you wanting a follow up on the main character; which shouldn’t be a long wait since the next book in the series, Chinatown, is due for release soon.
Print Length: 148 pages
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC (October 15, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.