As in these times, just after the Civil War there were men in prison for crimes they did not commit. Lucas Fume is one such man serving time in the Tennessee State Prison. Convicted of the murder of his business partner, John Barlow, Lucas has done a lot of questionable things over the years. This was especially true during the Civil War. His guilt on that is one thing, but he never murdered anyone.
Fortunately, Lucas Fume is a better than average good fighter and has earned a reputation of being one of the toughest guys in the prison. A reputation that somebody is looking to take down a notch as there was no other reason for the stranger to come after him. Lucas has taken some shots, but given as well as he has gotten and is holding his own against his latest attacker. As the fight rages on while prisoners place bets on the outcome, a fire has begun elsewhere close by in the prison. That fire and the commotion it has caused have turned what was a simple fight between two prisoners into a free for all between many of the men.
It also means others that Lucas has no idea who they are have moved into range of Lucas. That includes a former slave and fellow prisoner by the name of Ezekiel “Zeke” Henry. He has come looking for Lucas for a reason as he started that fire as part of a plan to free Lucas from prison. There really isn’t time to ask questions though Lucas tries as the fire increases and guards beginning to respond to take control of the prison back from the inmates and quell the violence. Why he is being sprung now is just one of the many questions in Lucas’ mind as he takes a chance and follows Zeke in the unknown.
First of a new series featuring Lucas Fume, this western is a good one. Like most of author Larry D. Sweazy’s main characters, Lucas is a flawed human being who has done a number of things that others would question and quite possibly hang him for. He is a complicated human being, but his word means just about everything to him.
Couple that with a strong mystery component which is usually present in the author’s westerns, a compelling secondary storyline, and other ingredients and you have more of the quality read that worked so well in The Devil’s Bones and the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series. When you read a Larry D. Sweazy book it isn’t surprising why the author collects so many awards for his work. He has done it again with Vengeance At Sundown: A Lucas Fume Western.
Vengeance At Sundown: A Lucas Fume Western
Larry D. Sweazy
Berkley Western Novel (A penguin Radom House Company)
Paperback (also available in e-book and large print formats)
Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014