Thursday, 1 December 2011

[Book Review] The Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles

If you see a book on Amazon with 50 5* reviews, you're expecting a good read. Thankfully, Edward A Grainger knows how to deliver. The first volume of the Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles is described as "western noir", and features seven short stories about two deputy U.S. Marshals working in 1880s Wyoming Territory. Cash Laramie is the rebel with a cause, the marshal raised by Arapahos and eager to see justice done, while Gideon Miles is one of the first African American marshals, handy with both blades and firearms.

The stories are extremely well-written, with Melanie and The Bone Orchard Mystery as two of the stand out tales in the collection. As with Under the Sun, Grainger is unafraid to keep his marshals in the sidelines to let other characters take centre stage, and its credit to the strength of his character-building that this even works. Cash is gruff but fair, while Miles is warm and likeable. They're hardly good cop/bad cop, but rather just two partners out to make their world a better place. His world-building is also impeccable, with 1880s Cheyenne leaping from the electronic page with all its sights and sounds.

I know some people will probably pass over these stories saying "I don't like Westerns" but please, put your preconceptions about John Wayne or Clint Eastwood to one side and give them a go anyway. Think of them as short crime stories set in the Old West, or historical noir, but just give them a try before you decide against Westerns!

Five blunt pencils out of five!

You can buy The Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles Vol. 1 from Amazon US for a paltry $1.38 or from Amazon UK for 86p!


Heath Lowrance said...

Spot on review. And believe it or not, the second volume is even better.

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