Tweet an interview in which Matt discusses the challenges of marketing Westerns, so to help with that marketing, I want to put up my review for his latest novella, Outlaw.
Outlaw tells the story of the bad boy outlaw, Wesley Quaid, who rides into the sleepy town of Leeville, Kansas, in the hope that he can lie low in an effort to escape his reputation in Texas. You can't keep a good outlaw down, and soon Quaid is checking out the bank with the intention of pulling a heist. Things don't go according to plan since he gets his eye on the pretty bank clerk, Colleen, and soon he's struggling with his feelings for her, as well as becoming embroiled in a turf war with the hot-headed son of the local ranch owner. If that's not enough, he's also been made deputy marshal, he's got a thing with the hot woman who runs the saloon, and he's being tailed by a shadowy assassin named Sabrina...
I give you that much of the plot as an indication of how fast-paced this novella is. Pizzolato's writing is tight and the narrative unfurls at a swift pace, with plenty going on to make this an action-packed story. Casting an outlaw as your hero takes a lot of guts, and Quaid is more of a likeable rogue than a vicious bad guy. He'll give as good as he gets, but he doesn't pick fights with people unless he needs to. The setting feels plausible, and at no point did I feel like I'd been thrown out of the story. I would have liked to have seen more character development, as well as a little more back story for Sabrina, but hey, that's what other novellas are for, right?
Outlaw is a quick but tight read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll be looking forward to more of Wesley Quaid's adventures.
Four blunt pencils out of five!
You can buy it for the Kindle from Amazon US or Amazon UK, and it's also available in paperback.