Title: The Butcher of Bear Creek (Sidewinders #7)
Author: William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Publisher: Pinnacle Books
My rating is 5 out of 5.
On New Year’s Eve, I was searching for a good western to get lost in. While looking through my Johnstone collection, I choose a Sidewinders book. I couldn’t put this action-packed, suspense-filled, western/mystery thriller down! I got pulled into the story from the first page and was really surprised when later in the novel some aspects of the characters’ lives were revealed!
Bo Creel and Scratch Morton were returning to their old stomping grounds after being away for years to find themselves looked upon with dread and suspicion. All either of them wanted to do was go visit their families on the farms, but the way they were received was anything but inviting. Bo learns the reason for the looks and unwelcome actions of the townspeople that are due to the fact that Bo is suspected of two murders.
The longtime friends and partners can prove where they were though it would take time and the town is pumped for a hanging. Bo is a believer in the law, but Scratch is afraid that the town will not wait till proof comes before they take matters into their own hands even though the sheriff swears to protect Bo. I really found the story very captivating and entertaining. There were hints of something else happening in the book, but exactly what it was the author cleverly veiled until the right moment!
Scenes were so well-described I could easily picture them in my mind and hear the action happening as if I was there observing. There are eight novels in the series that can be read in order or as standalones: Sidewinders, Massacre at Whiskey Flats, Cutthroat Canyon, Mankiller Colorado, Deadwood Gulch, Texas Bloodshed, The Butcher of Bear Creek and finally Bleeding Texas. Choose one or all of them and then settle down to good stories with lots of action, suspense and adventure!