Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Review: The Samaritan's Pistol

As a little girl, I remember my great uncle Wave telling us the story about spending several days in the company of author Zane Grey, who hired him to drive around various regions of the Arizona desert. As they traveled, Grey described what he saw, while his able assistant, with a manual typewriter on a tray in his lap, typed away furiously. Then, Grey went home and used many of these descriptions in a slew of novels he wrote later.

Are you a fan of Zane Grey and Louis Lamour? You’ll love this contemporary western, The Samaritan’s Pistol, by Eric Bishop. Do you just like a good read? Then you’ll love this book, too, as it’s far more than a western.

Author Eric Bishop likes to say that The Samaritan’s Pistol is about a guy who had a gun and used it when he needed it. But Jim Cooper is a complex character, and certainly has more dimensions than the stereotyped John Wayne cowboy of the west. Still struggling with demons from the Gulf War and soured on the idea of ever finding a woman to share his life, Jim finds contentment in working his ranch with his loyal helpers, and serving as a guide for rich tourists who want a week of fishing in pristine mountain streams.

Then, one day, his life changes forever when he runs into the mob—carrying out a hit in the unlikely setting of his beloved Wyoming mountains. Jim makes a quick decision, and when the smoke clears, he’s dealing with a dying horse, three dead mobsters, and an injured criminal, who presents Jim with a tempting offer in return for his help --- millions of dollars in stolen mafia cash.

Soon, Jim finds himself driving a truckload of stolen money along the Las Vegas strip, right under the Mafia’s nose. But even if they escape with the cash, will Jim’s conservative neighbors provide sanctuary for their local Samaritan, and how far will the mafia go for revenge? 
A few small-town Mormon neighbors and other interesting characters populate the pages of this book, and there’s even a bit of promising romance for Jim.

The Samaritan’s Pistol has an eye-catching cover. Inside, the reader will not be disappointed. Bishop’s writing is lean and clean. The pace is relentless and the characters well-developed and (mostly) likeable, though with very human flaws that immediately engage the reader.

The description of the setting is vivid and places the reader in the middle of the action, ducking for cover when the shooting starts. The unlikely pairing of the mob vs. a Wyoming cowboy makes for a unique and lively tale. Caveat: For readers with sensitive ears, these mobsters and cowboys do some fancy cussing. 

About the author: 

Eric Bishop lives in northern Utah, and this is how he describes his life: "As a husband and father, I do my best to keep up with my wife and four daughters.s Each fall we pray for snow while riding horses through our nearby mountains. We ski on what comes until it melts. Then we inflate the rafts for a few float-trips, put shoes on the horses, and start the cycle again. I'm lucky and grateful."

The Samaritan's Pistol
Eric Bishop
Published by Jolly Fish Press

Published on inkPageant

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