3 out of 4 stars
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JT Thomas was forced to find shelter in a cave due to a sudden downpour. Unknown to him at the time, the cave holds many secrets. Before he has a chance to thoroughly explore it, a wagon is noticed down below him with three women tied up behind it. One of the women trips and falls, and she is beaten by a man with a whip who is following them on foot. There are two other men riding on horseback behind them. The driver of the wagon decides to kill the woman who fell (Dawn) and injures her in the shoulder. At this point, JT shoots the driver and kills him. The man with the whip jerks his gun out but is shot and killed by JT, while the two men on horseback escape. He realizes there is another woman (Jean), not previously seen, riding on the wagon. She snatches the gun that the driver previously possessed and keeps it with her. The women won’t divulge to him anything about how they were captured, which JT thinks is strange.
Because Dawn requires medical attention, they travel to the nearest town and transfer her to the doctor. When alone with the doctor, the story of her capture is finally disclosed. Meanwhile, JT and the other women (Jean, Emily, and Annabelle) go to the boarding house to obtain rooms.
Unknown to JT at the time, Jean and her brother are infamous bank robbers and murderers. JT, along with Annabelle, will soon be trying to track them down.
Rescued: JT Thomas Book 1 by E. Alan Fleischauer is an action-packed Western novel. Although the first in the series, it is a standalone novel. Most but not all of the pertinent questions are answered by the end. The story is narrated in a simple, easy-to-understand style from a third-person point of view. It is loaded with suspense, outlaws, lots of gunfire, and a bit of romance. The fast-moving action represents my favorite part of the story. The novel offers us a taste of what the Old West was like, the hardships, the ruthlessness, and the lawlessness, and it even throws in a little about New York during that time. According to the author, “it is currently a semi-finalist for the Laramie Awards for the best western of 2019.”
However, there are a couple of things that could have been written a little better. Descriptions of people are frequently lacking. For example, out of the four women that JT rescued, the only one with a description is Annabelle. We aren’t told what the others look like. This is my least favorite aspect of the book because I enjoy picturing the characters as I read a story.
Additionally, several errors were discovered that weren’t very distracting but were a few too many to overlook. It could use another round of editing.
Because this action-packed book is very entertaining, it achieves a rating of three out of four stars. One was removed because of the errors and the problem with inadequate descriptions. I think the story is too good for a rating of two stars. Western fans who are fond of suspense, outlaws, and lots of guns would appreciate this book. Historical-fiction fans would likely enjoy it as well. This is a plot-driven story, so those people who prefer character-driven tales might want to look elsewhere.
There are some profanities, mostly mild. Because of that and the violence, this book is unsuitable for children and people sensitive to those issues.
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