Louis L'Amour,
(Bantam, 1968)

For Father's Day, let's look at Louis L'Amour's Brionne.

My 1975 mass-market paperback edition of the book features a nattily dressed gent on the cover -- he looks more like a gambler than a gunman -- with two pistols in his hand. Behind him, a young boy, similarly dressed, peers around his father at whatever Dad happens to be shooting at.

It's a pretty strong story about a father and son. James Brionne, one of President U.S. Grant's close confidantes after their service together in the Civil War, returns to his Virginia home to find his wife dead and his son hiding. The family of Dave Allard, a villain Brionne had previously put away, came calling, looking for revenge.

Brionne, deciding that nothing ties him any longer to the East, takes his son west for a fresh start. Unfortunately for him, the gang that raided his home has also headed west, hoping to escape justice.

On the railroad trip west, Brionne and his son meet Miranda Loften, a woman in peril with, she thinks, directions to a lost silver mine.

There are few plot twists here, but the action is constant and the tension is high. Brionne's concern for his son, who is struggling to deal with the trauma of seeing his mother's death and the terror that followed, adds extra depth to the story.

book review by
Tom Knapp

18 June 2016

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new