Friday, November 14, 2014

FFB: Comanche Vengeance -- Richard Jessup

Comanche Vengeance is one of the books I bought back in August at Kayo Books in San Francisco.  When I read it the other day, I was struck by the similarity of the plot to a book I wrote, Outrage at Blanco.  The revenge plot is common in western fiction, but it's unusual to have a woman as the vengeance seeker, which is the case here.  The woman in the book is nothing like Ellie Taine in my own novel, and things certainly don't turn out the way they do in my book, but there's at least a superficial similarity.

Sarah Phelps hits the vengeance trail after her husband and young children are killed by a band of Comanches.  The daughter is also raped.  But for some reason, Sarah is spared.  We never do learn why, though she wonders about it briefly at the beginning.  Trained by her father, Phelps is fast on the draw and deadly accurate with pistol and rifle (don't ask me where she got that dress and rifle on the cover to the left; nothing like that is in the novel, and the rifle's nothing like the ones used in the book).  She meets a man named Gibson Duke, who immediately falls for her and decides to aid her in her quest for revenge.  She makes it clear that she doesn't want him around, but he doesn't give up.  She eventually accepts him, but she's the one running the show.

Phelps and Duke have plenty of troubles on their journey -- bad white men, bad Indians, bad weather -- but they persevere.  Phelps reflects on her desire for revenge more than once, but she never gives it up.  She's one tough woman, believe me.  Duke is something of a tough guy, himself, but he's not as tough as she is.  This isn't a great book, but it's a good one, and at only 126 pages it packs in more plot and action than many two or three times as long.  Check it out.


August West said...

Agree, this is a good quick Western. Though he reached his fame with "The Cincinnati Kid," I'm sort of a fan of Richard Jessup/Richard Telfair Western novels. "Sabadilla" and "Chuka" are my favorites.

George said...

I've enjoyed all the Richard Jessup novels I've read. His westerns are good, but his suspense novels are even better!

Dan said...

Oddly enough I started reading a Jessup paperback just today: DEADLY DUO