Man, it’s been ages since I’ve read, let alone reviewed, a book. I finally had to force myself to sit down and read. What couldn’t be better for my first choice than a Western. My dad was a HUGE western fan, and every other Saturday, to the library we went to check out more books. I had my own preferences, but I also loved westerns. I always wanted to live in that time period. So, here is my review of Unflinching.
Click on book cover to read a preview.
In the brutal, unforgiving West a dozen years after the California Gold Rush, a lone Pinkerton detective trails two vicious killers.
When the daughter of a famous ex-general is kidnapped, Detective Simms is assigned to bring her home. Forged in the Mexican War, this man of steel knows how to survive, and how to kill. But he needs all of his skill and guile to survive this unforgiving land, and bring the general’s daughter home.
And then, it gets personal…
The story starts off with a bank robbery that goes horribly wrong, and an innocent girl is kidnapped by the surviving robbers. Unfortunate for the fleeing thieves, Elisabeth is a daughter of a renowned General, so Detective Simms of the Pinkerton Detective Agency is called in to find her and bring the men to justice. Dead or Alive.
Simms is your typical hardened man who fought during the Mexican War and who’s seen enough blood and death to last two lifetimes. As he pursues the murdering scum known as Mason and Newhart, he starts questioning his life. Is he ready to give up his job and settle down with a good woman and a home? As plots go, this is pretty typical and cookie-cutter.
Mason and Newhart are great villains and you’d be hard pressed not to dislike them. Loathe them actually. But, maybe, they were a little over the top. There wasn’t much character development for them. No, this is why we do what we do. Mommy issues, etc. There is a brief point at the very end where Mason dwells on his past, but it still doesn’t explain how he ended up being a cold-blooded murder who loved killing and raping. And no backstory for Newhart at all. I felt like they were just in the story to give Simms someone to chase and the readers to hate.
There is a love interest, and not who you think it would be. Simms has his eye on one woman, then out of the blue, ends up with another. No inkling at all he was even interested. Left me going, hmmm. Okay?
As for the layout of the story. Oh man, I really felt like I was on the parched plains with Simms. All the heat, dust, and lack of water. Yates did a great job getting me into the story that way.
What threw me out, on a regular basis, was the usage of wrong vernacular. I could sure tell this was written by someone other than an American. All the whilst and amongst jarred me every time. It was also too PC. Indians weren’t referred to as Indians back then. They were Injuns, or red skin heathens, or bloody red skins. You get my drift. And speaking of Indians, they were the best horsemen in the West. Having a scene where the Indians couldn’t control their horses during a gun fight just proves Yates didn’t do his homework.
With all my complaints, you’d think I didn’t enjoy the story, but I actually did. I even had a tear in my eye at the end, even though it made me go, hmmm. Okay?
All in all, I found the book to be an enjoyable read, and I was left wanting to know what the future held for Detective Simms. Did he find his HEA? I give it 4 cowboys.
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