My Blog

My Blog



December 17, 2016


Linford Western Library
John Russell Fearn


Sparks are flying in the wild west...

Clem Dawlish and his partner, Amos Grant, are on the hunt for oil. Their decade-long quest has lead them to the sun-soaked wilderness of Texas, where they have finally discovered a valuable oil field in otherwise arid land. Tens of thousands of dollars lay hidden beneath the ground, and they are  the only two w ho know about it.

But before they can stake their claim, the ranchers and homesteaders must be eliminated. They plan to initiate a reign of terror, creating a phantom who will start a ruthless and bloody war, eliminating everything and everyone in his path.

His gang will not think twice before they kill, just as long as they can gain their own ends. So ccunning is their scheme that nothing can be proved against Dawlish, the mastermind behind the reign of terrorr.

Drunk on power and greed, he becomes convinced that he can manipulate the townspeople of Canterville, whilst keeping them unaware of his murderous deeds.

But his villainy does not go unchallenged for long. Another "phantom" arises, with the sole purpose of seeking revenge upon Dawlish, Grant and their band of crooks.

But can this phantom prevent Dawlish from enacting his terrible plans?

One thing is for sure - Dawlish will not go down without a fight...

JOHN RUSSELL FEARN (1908-1960) is well remembered as almost single handedly driving the post World War II boom in British publishing with a flood of science fiction, detective stories, and westerns. His writing appeared under various pseudonyms and has been translated into many languages around the world.


Dawlish and Grant have been looking for oil for some time.  Now they have possibly found an oil field that could be quite valuable, making them rich.  Texas, where possible riches are beneath the sun drenched ground.  They are out in the middle of no where and no one else knows about this.

 Now comes the task to create terror to get the ranchers and homesteaders to move on.  They will see something that they only believed to be legend.  This legend will start a war and leave no one left to tell the tale.  The car not what they have to do to get rid of these ranchers.  They need that land and killing means nothing to them.  Whatever it takes!   The phantom, legend? leaves nothing that can be traced back to Dawlish.   He becomes more and more determined to gain this land because  he is greedy and thinks he is all power.
The people of this western town, Canterville, are fearful for their lives.  They now think that they may be next on the phantom's list.  
The author cleverly used a phantom to get the homesteaders and ranchers  to think of leaving.  Some didn't even get to think about it.   The author shows the greed that oil or riches of any kind can do to a person, especially back in the ole west days.  But now, the author throws a  hook into the mix.  The hook being another phantom. A phantom against phantom. This phantom isn't out to get rid of the ranchers.  This phantom is out to get rid of Dawlish, Grant and their band of outlaws.  This is for revenge not for riches.
Can this phantom over power the other phantom, should we say, phantom 2 against phantom 1?  Dawlish is an evil man and he isn't going to back down quietly.  What will Dawlish do against another phantom?   Where did phantom 2 come from?  Someone besides Dawlish and his gang had to know about the oil and about who was murdering and chasing the ranchers off?  Who was that?   Will Dawlish go down?   If he does what happens to the oil fields?
The author gave the reader a little terror that was different.  A phantom created upon an old legend.  What a perfect idea for the plot.   The book  moved  a fast pace and kept your interest throughout.  It's a  short story but filled throughout with suspense, murder, greed, revenge, phantoms and so much to keep you turning those pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Pioneer Press and voluntarily decided to review it. 

I would give this book 4 STARS.

No comments: