Thursday, November 8, 2012

Arkansas Smith by Jack Martin


Gary Dobbs (who also writes under the name Vincent Stark) is a one-man creative powerhouse. He began publishing his Black Horse Westerns a few years ago and was responsible for an amazing and successful marketing campaign that brought a great deal of positive attention to Robert Hale’s famed imprint. His first book, The Tarnished Star, should be required reading for western fans. Arkansas Smith appeared in 2010 and is available in paperback as well. Arkansas is a former Texas Ranger and when he finds his old pal Will McCord ambushed and near death he decides to help. Once a lawman always a lawman. He soon finds out this land owner named John Lance might not be neighborly at all. He’s got some bad-asses working for him, Clay and Jim, who stir things up when Arkansas is in the town of Red Rock purchasing supplies. Word spreads that Arkansas Smith is in town, the man they say was “born on a battlefield.” (p. 24) After the fourth chapter there’s a splendid flashback titled “Yesteryear” that explains parts of Arkansas’s past and the origin of his name. This is the first of several short flashbacks that fill in the back story. Meanwhile, Arkansas will have his hands full with John Lance and his men and possibly a smidgen of romance. Arkansas Smith is an excellent western, beautifully written and tightly plotted. There’s plenty of action but the story sort of leans into it and then lets it explode in the final showdown. The measured pacing and fine writing make this a real book lover’s treat.  Arkansas Smith II: The Tumbleweed Trail is available on Kindle. His other books include The Ballad of Delta Rose and Wild Bill Williams. His Vincent Stark novels include The Dead Walked: Book One – Outbreak. 

You can learn more about Gary Dobbs, Jack Martin and Vincent Stark by visiting his blog HERE!

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