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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Gunslingers: A Story of the Old West is a work of western-style fiction with plenty of action and intrigue, and was penned by author John Layne. Written as a clean read for all types of audience, this multi-genre tale set in the old west contains plenty of family drama and romance, as well as the action and adventure one would expect from the genre. The focus is on Joel Thornton and his daughter Elizabeth, who experience an attack from an old fugitive on their ranch in Texas. Elizabeth heeds the call to find her father’s former partner, US Deputy Marshal Ben Chance, but this leads her to a mysterious gunslinger and here the story really heats up.
Author John Layne has both a great sense of what makes a classic nostalgic western, and what makes great reading in a modern-day adventure novel. What results is a really well-rounded tale with multiple plotlines at play, emotional drama arcs but also mysteries and missing persons, old grudges and new dangers. The writing style is atmospheric yet concise, getting us to the action fast when called for but still painting those historic scenes we know from cinema and television. The dialogue is also a triumph, harkening back to the old ways of speech but not so much that readers can’t engage with and understand the characters and their well-formed personal storylines. Overall, Gunslingers: A Story of the Old West delivers everything it promises and more. A highly recommended read for western fans and newbies alike.