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Valley of the Damned Paperback – December 3, 2012
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Gunslingers roamed the streets, sharpshooters keep a close eye, and no one man dares to be sheriff. There's a little of everything in this spellbound. The roughest-of-the-rough meet head on.
There's another side to Falk: his mastery of character development. We meet a Frenchman, who is no fool and ready for any man's challenge. We meet a Colonel, who at first seems villainous. The characters literally come out of the western woodwork. We even get to meet a small Chinese woman, who is nobody to mess with.
It's hard to say where the action begins and where it ends. A page-turner defines this novel.
Our eye immediately finds the young Matthew Clark setting out to discover life and its mysteries. We learn that he has endeared himself to one man, a man who shows him the ways of the world. This man dies, leaving Matthew with the notion that a booty will be waiting for him.
We quickly learn that Matthew must endure the shortcomings of his partner Jeb, who gets them in one pickle after another. The action hardly lets up for a second, giving you mere seconds to catch your breath.
As these two gunslingers make their way into Darwin, where they must intercept a telegram, they hear news of a Colonel that may or may not have his hands in the cookie jar. We see several types of sub-plot going on. We see an intricate web in the making.
Valley of the Damned is a thriller in the true sense of the word. Of course, in the end the players must meet a deadline, or the booty may be lost forever. However, I didn't see the twist that Falk threw in at the last minute, leaving me in awe. I hated that the book had to end, it was that good. It begs for a reread. At least I hope to see its sequel in the near future. I give this novel the highest regard. I give it five stars!