Grant, Peter. Rocky Mountain Retribution: The Ames Archives Book 2. (Castalia House, 2017) Kindle Edition.
Once again, Peter Grant shows why the Ames Archives are probably going to be the most successful western series in the past decade or more.
Six years have passed since Walt Ames, his wife Rose, and his associates settled in Denver City. Walt’s freight business is doing well, but the market is starting to get crowded. Rather than sell to a larger company, Walt decides to relocate south, to the new rail-center of Pueblo, where the competition is not so strong, and where he can look around for a place to raise horses and mules to sell to other businesses.
As Walt, Rose, and some of their men are taking wagons south, to look at routes and to make the initial move, an attempted horse theft leaves one of Walt’s men dead. Walt tracks down the rustlers and takes care of them, and their boss, in the process igniting the fuse that triggers an explosion that will shatter Walt’s world and could rock Colorado Territory.
But the man behind the rustlers is about to learn a hard lesson. Walt Ames is a scout, and a warrior. And scouts follow the trail until the bitter end.
As in Brings the Lightening, Peter Grant has done a masterful job interweaving Walt’s story with that of the region, nodding to then-current events and individuals. The pacing on this book is, if anything, tighter than in the first one, pulling the reader in and keeping him in Walt’s world until the last page is turned (or swiped, for the electronic edition). The gunplay is well done, as are the firearms details. If it seems in places like a bit of a firearms info-dump, the discussions always fit and are important to the story. Have patience, and the reason for the information will become clear.
I’m familiar with the geography of the Front Range and northern New Mexico, and that rings true as well. Like so many of Louis L’Amour’s books, the reader can probably find each place, or even (you’ll need a true 4WD and good topo maps for some sections) drive parts of the routes.
As is common in the genre, the book has a rather high count of dead and wounded. That also fits the time and place. New Mexico and Colorado had rather wild Territorial periods, and greed led to a lot of trouble. And this is before the water-wars truly began in eastern Colorado!
I highly recommend this book.
FTC Notice: I purchased this book for my own personal use and received no remuneration from the author or publisher for this review.