Tuesday, June 11, 2013
New Review -- THE GILA WARS -- Bookgasm.com
All good things must come to an end. That’s how I’m going to look at THE GILA WARS, Larry D. Sweazy’s final entry in the Josiah Wolfe series. What has been some of the most solid Western writing to come down the pike these past few years goes out on top.
For those who have been reading this series from the start, yes, Sweazy ties up the loose ends. While that is great and all, things just don’t end the way you’d might like. Here’s a spoiler: Wolfe lives. But he does have to deal with some unexpected turns.
Unlike the previous entry, GILA WARS is more action-oriented. I’m talking a huge chunk that deals with gunfights and plenty of other Western action. The basic plot is centered around the Red Raids, the wholesale cattle rustling that went on between Texas to Cuba, and the hunting down of real-life figure Juan Cortina. Wolfe and partner Scrap Elliot are given the task of spying on the Mexicans, then relaying the information to the troops for attack. While I’m giving the plot broad strokes, it’s best to go into this novel so that the surprises can show themselves.
This being the last, Wolfe’s life goes through some changes — namely, his longtime sweetheart giving him the Dear John treatment. There is a death of note and Wolfe comes to terms with his years as a Ranger and how they affected him.
Sweazy does not pull a George R.R. Martin, folks, so be grateful about that. But it’s sad for this Western lover to see such a fine series end. Sweazy leaves certain things open so that at some later point, he could revisit this wonderful world of Western heroes. —Bruce Grossman