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Thursday, July 5, 2012

REVIEW: Road to Rimrock by Chuck Tyrell

I was lucky enough to get an advance view of a western novel set for release next month by Black Horse Westerns -an excellent outfit across the Big Pond, the United Kingdom to be exact, that has been producing action-oriented westerns since the 1960s. The novel in question is Road to Rimrock, by Chuck Tyrell -an American living in Japan, writing for a top-notch British press that specializes in the American West... and he's as interesting as he sounds.

Matt Stryker is the marshal at Rimrock, Arizona... a mining town whose silver mine has played out, and which even the most optimistic citizens would admit is possibly on its way to ghost town status. Stryker's job mostly consists of putting the town drunk, Stan Ruggart, away for the night. But then one day everything changed...
"Stan Ruggart went on living and drinking, Matt Stryker went on making his rounds, and Rimrock went on dying. Then Tom Hall rode in."

Soon Stryker is caught up in murder and conspiracy, unsure who to trust as he carries out a promise to a dead friend. He gains several unlikely allies along the way (including, briefly, Wolf Wilder -protagonist of Tyrell's novel A Man Called Breed.) He also picks up enemies -targeted not only by the killers he pursues, but also a trio of gunmen from his past, bent on revenge, and a couple of very shady ladies. The story unfolds via Tyrell's usual well-paced action and engaging dialogue.

For decades now -off and on -people have been pronouncing the death knell of the Western, much as the Rimrock of this novel is written off as a dying prospect. But it keeps bouncing back, as new generations of writers infuse their energy into the genre and give it new twists even as they pay homage to its storied traditions. There are several such authors on the scene in the 21st century, and Chuck Tyrell is right there at their leading edge. I have read and enjoyed several of his books in the last couple of years, and he is becoming a name well worth noting. If you haven't read his work yet, Road to Rimrock will be released on July 1. I also highly recommend Tyrell's western books that have been published by WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER:

Troy D. Smith, reviewer


  1. Thank you, Troy, for the review. In the west (and many other places) a man's word was the measure of his worth. If he couldn't or wouldn't keep his promises, he wasn't much of a man. Matt Stryker did what any man worth his salt would have done in 1880. He kept his promise. Difficult as it was at times.

    Can I take this chance to toot my own whistle? Besides the WTB books you mentioned, I have two other novellas published by Rebecca Vickery, in the fantasy field. They are The Fall of Awa and The Shadow Shield. They are under the byline of Charles T. Whipple, as they are not Westerns.

  2. Chuck, what do you consider your greatest influence when it comes to westerns? Movies? Novels?

  3. I think it's funny that you live in Japan, have a British publisher and write American Westerns, Chuck. From one side of the world to the other, I guess it says we all love a good western. Your books look like such fun to read. I wish you the very best.

  4. I enjoyed this blog article and it was interesting to learn that Charlie and Chuck are one and the same. And from Sarah's post I also learned of your diverse locations. We are also a diverse group at PbRJV which is a plus in my opinion. I wish you continued success.

  5. Enjoyed the review and now you know I am going to have to read this one when I get a chance. LOL
    I am glad to see Westerns aren't dead and with authors around like Chuck Tyrell and Troy D. Smith I think the younger generation have a lot of great reading ahead of them.


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