Friday, 22 January 2016

Book review - CAR NEX - Badlands - Stuart Keane


Following on from Shaun Hupp's Trailer Park story, Keane brings us the latest installment of the Car Nex series.

The story takes us back to the wild west, where we follow a couple of outlaws; Morgan Sprake and Matthew Hickman. (Yes).

The scene is set as both men are staring down the barrel of a gun, belonging to lawman - Sherrif Bradley. Both men are wanted for their involvement in the cold blooded murder of an innkeeper, and cattle hand in Santa Fe. A bounty has been set on their heads for the mere sum of $100.  Cowboy Matt feels that this doesn't do justice to their reputation, so to up the ante, blows the law mans brains out.

As night falls, the two men sit discussing the boundaries that Matt wants to push. He wants to be remembered by their own legacy; one of the true greats. He shares a story of forbidden love with Morgan, and they discuss the evil in the world. 

Morgan becomes concerned, and suspects that Matt is drunk, when he claims to have already been face to face with Lucifer, and produces a pendant, where he claims he can summon a demon to this world to wreak havoc. Herein lies Matt's legacy.

As the two men ride into a new town; The Strip. The hostile reception that they receive from the locals, and a run in with a man of the cloth; Father Lennon, leads to a very unfortunate confrontation; Don't bring a knife to a gunfight, bring a demon.

So, what can you expect? Fun. That is the real word to describe this story.  I make no secrets about my fondness for this author's work, and again, Keane injects his trademark, meticulous scene setting, and addictive prose from the offset. The descrptives are real, and feel genuine, he really did his homework. It's a fantastic read. Full of violence, and chaos, and yes, for the fun of it.

It's a short story, the characters are great, and Keane once again shows that his writing is diverse enough to pack a hell of a punch in any circumstance. Please don't over think it, take it for what it is, with gritty dialogue and a closing scene that will leave you like you have been slapped around the chops, its a great addition to the Car Nex legacy.

Lets see where the baton gets passed next. Terry West - Hint, hint.

In summary, cracking short read, and the most handsome cowboy in the wild west.

My rating 5/5


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