I cannot in good conscience recommend this double novel. The writing is pretty bad over all. Full of cliches and Lots! Of! Exclamation! Marks!!! which is the sign of amateurish writing.
The first novel, Manhunter, was downright unreadable only because it was so incredibly ridiculous. Luke Starbuck is patterned after the old "Paladin" TV series. There are many similarities. The "love" interest isn't interesting, and, as I said, Braun depends on overuse of exclamation marks to try and generate excitement. I had to give up on the first novel after about six chapters. It was just awful.
When I started reading the second novel in this double I found it much better written and the story more believable. But then again Braun gets sloppy and starts throwing around exclamation marks like M&Ms. It's just bad writing and, frankly, embarrassing.
I must say I have from time to time both praised and dinged Braun for his writing. But lately I've hit a bad patch of rather bad writing on his part, and this did it for me. He's off my list of western writers to either watch for or read. He's too inconsistent. When he's good...he's pretty good. But when he's bad, as he often is, you can't help but shudder at how juvenile his prose becomes.
Don't waste your time with this double novel. And, though it pains me to say it, don't waste your time with Braun. He's just not that good when you get right down to it.
for writers and fans of the Old West....
- Manhunter/Deadwood, double novel by Matt Braun