“A Bullet in the Neck” is a collection of four short stories from an author relatively new to writing Westerns, Russ Towne. While Russ has written quite a few books over the past few years, this is just his second foray into our genre, and it’s a good one. I blogged about his first entry, “A Bloody Day in Destiny,” back on Aug. 16.
Russ is a complicated writer. In another of his lives, he writes great children’s books — fun, uplifting, full of joy and childhood dreams. But Russ has a dark side to his writing, and it comes out in his Western shorts. They can be brutal, hit-you-in-the-gut kind of stories, but they are well-written, action filled and keep you turning the pages as fast as you can read.
He opens with “Gold Fever,” where a small group of miners have to deal with greed and violence, some obvious, some not so much.
“Big Dream Ranch” tells the tale of a man with a small horse ranch, big dreams and a bigger heart.
“Mary’s Medicine” is a quick story with a powerful kick and will have you doing background checks on any new people you allow into your life.
“Annie Davenport and Dr. Hartlee’s Miracle Headache Cure” will absolutory cure you from ever even thinking about stealin’ whiskey!
I’ve gotten to know Russ because we both write children’s books as well as Westerns, and Russ helped me navigate through my first one. As he shifted over and added Westerns to his repertoire, I was honored to do some beta reading and make a few minor suggestions. It’s great to see his work in this book, as well as the previous one, and I’m looking forward to him stretching his talents and publishing his first full Western novel.
I hope you give it a try, and I’d love to hear your feedback.
Thank you, and enjoy!