Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wrong Town - Matthew P. Mayo

WRONG TOWN is a new e-book release of the first novel by Matthew P. Mayo, originally published as a Black Horse Western a few years ago. It's also the first book in the Roamer series and has a great opening as the narrator/protagonist, who goes by the name Roamer, is attacked while he's sleeping by a grizzly bear.

This is a very harrowing scene. It's not a big spoiler to say that Roamer survives his encounter with the bear, but then things get even worse. While he's still in bad shape from that battle, he's robbed and left a-foot by a couple of drifting outlaws. Despite everything that's happened to him, Roamer is stubborn and a survivor, and those qualities allow him to make it to the town of Tall Pine.

Where, you guessed it, things continue to get even worse.

In the great tradition of noirish Westerns by authors such as Lewis B. Patten and H.A. DeRosso, the town of Tall Pine is full of dark secrets, and Roamer finds himself being blamed for a murder he didn't commit. With nobody he can trust and with a truly despicable villain manipulating things, it's all he can do to stay alive and try to untangle the deadly web being woven around him.

WRONG TOWN has a solid plot and fine characters, but its strongest appeal is the narrative voice that Mayo gives to Roamer. Ugly enough to make babies cry and somewhat antisocial because of his appearance, Roamer is also highly intelligent and well-read, in addition to being pretty doggoned tough. He's a great character, and I'm glad there are more novels about him on the way. In the meantime, WRONG TOWN is a top-notch traditional Western yarn and well worth reading. -- James Reasoner

1 comment:

  1. I'm humbled and pleased that you enjoyed the book, James. A fella can't ask for a finer review, especially from a writer he admires--and with mentions of Patten and DeRosso. I'm walking tall today.

    As an aside, the book's been out a week or so, with a trade paperback version available any minute now, and it's selling well. I guess there's something about a grizzly mauling....