GUNS OF LEGEND #7
IN SATAN'S CIRCUS
REVIEWED BY TIM DEFOREST
Tomcat Meyer, the lawman who was introduced as a supporting character in Colorado City Kill, takes center stage as the protagonist in this book. He's tasked by Allistar Legende to find a guy named Sid Graves and bring him to Legende.
The purpose of this is fairly clear. Graves testified against a New York City mob boss. Legende arranged for him to get a new identity out West—a sort of Wild West version of the Witness Protection Program.
But Graves is now making waves. He's getting involved in gambling and gunfights, and building a reputation that could bring him to the attention of assassins working for the New York mob...What's unclear is Graves' motivation. Why is he apparently setting himself up to get killed?
This is the premise for a fast-paced and extremely entertaining Western. There's plenty of action and several unexpected plot twists. Perhaps the greatest strength of the story are the characterizations. Every person Tomcat encounters, even if they are only around for a chapter or two, is given a unique personality. I've rarely encountered a book in which I've enjoyed meeting each and every character so much. Whether its a despicable villain such as the albino killer Cormac Paige or a well-dressed and well-spoken gentleman farmer named Bachelor Bates, all of them both advance the plot and add to the novel's unique atmosphere.
The novel comes to a fantastic conclusion, involving an outlaw lair, an apparently hopeless situation, and a last-minute rescue involving some unusual weaponry.
Five of the seven Guns of Legende books have featured Frank Landry and Emily O'Connor as the main characters. They are absent from this book. Frank and Emily are strong protagonists and I have no problem with them being the series' usual heroes. But I'm glad to see an occasional book in which other agents of Allistar Legende get thrust into the spotlight. The series as a whole as built up a wonderful cast of regular and semi-regular characters. All of them deserve a chance to shine.