Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Review - Silence Rides Alone by Charles Millsted
In the 70's & early 80's there were always Westerns on TV, along with repeats and old B&W movies, especially Laurel & Hardy. But I grew up watching a variety of Westerns, including Bonanza, Maverick and an endless repeat of John Wayne, John Ford and other western films. Later I graduated to Clint Eastwood and the Spaghetti Westerns and films like Unforgiven.
Millsted's book is more in the vein of my earlier viewing and therefore a nice nostalgic read. The book opens with the Nussbaums doing what many have done before, going west in a covered wagon. When the wagon is attacked our eponymous hero arrives on the scene to help Manny Nussbaum find out who and why his family were attacked.
Silence has his own grief from past tragedy and when their investigations cross there is hell to pay.
Millsted does well to build the characters quickly, with a memorable supporting cast including a military intelligence officer confined to a wheelchair and a gunman in the Lee Van Cleef mould called Van Hook. Corrupted officials, ranch owners and their daughters, saloon whores etc. The plot whizzes along gathering steam until the final very memorable showdown.
This has everything you want from a western, and I highly recommend it