Book Review: The Name’s Buchanan

Jonas Ward’s “The Name’s Buchanan,” starts out fast and picks up speed from there. It’s a short book and virtually every page is filled with action. If you like fights — gun or fist — this is the book for you. If you’re a fan of character development and slow-building plots, just move on to the next book on your list. All of the beatings and killings — and there are plenty of both — are justified by honor or motivated by greed.

Buchanan is a fun-loving, hard-fisted giant of a man who is tired of being on the wrong side of a Mexican war and is headed back to the states for what he hopes is a relatively quiet life, lived out with the luxury made possible by the few thousand dollars he’s carrying. But, when he stumbles upon a young Mexican woman, who has been brutally raped and left for dead, he is drawn into a battle, or battles, he just can’t seem to ride away from – no matter how many people want him to leave and how many opportunities he’s given.

The book crosses the border between Texas and Mexico, pitting one of the last Mexican aristocratic families, the del Cuervos, who are obsessed with honor, against the unflinchingly evil Agry family, who has none.

Not surprisingly, the Agrys are not content with fighting the del Cuervo family. They turn on each other, especially the two Agry brothers, who finally and predictably are unable to contain their mutual contempt and hatred. Buchanan, no less surprising, chooses to ride right back into the middle of it.

The reader knows this book is one of a series, so the final outcome is never in doubt, but Ward’s crisp writing and never-ending battles keep fans of Western action turning the pages and make this short, little book a very fun read.

Three horseshoes.

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