Clark's Eye on Books

Clark I reviews books and sometimes writes them!

Author: Robert Greer
ISBN: 978-1-55591-689-3, Pages: 256, $24.95, Publication Date: June, 2009, Hard-Cover Fiction, Published by: Fulcrum Publishing

“A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty "Hi-yo, Silver!” The Lone Ranger! ” is the opening line of the old-time western radio show which was popular and began in 1938. This is a modern western novel by Robert Greer. “Spoon” is the leading character who is half-black and half-Indian. While hitchhiking through Colorado in search of his roots, he gets a ride from T J Darley, son of a local rancher in Hardin, Colorado. The story is related through T J and he tells of their immediate bonding as friends.

As the story unfolds in true western fashion, we learn the identity of Spoon, a nickname shortened from Arcus Witherspoon. He is a Vietnam veteran, a talented ranch hand, and most of all clairvoyant when necessary. His past is somewhat spotty because of time spent in jail for tangling with a peace officer. Spoon feels that he was set-up by the lawmen, but now realizes he cannot challenge them without dire consequences.

Greer demonstrates ranching is an extremely trying business. When ranchers by the name of Darley find someone who is willing to work hard, live in a bunk house, and get paid $500 per month plus room and board, they hire him at once. Spoon demonstrates his skills by doing unusual things which help to save the ranch from ruin. He formulates a plan for irrigating a pasture by diverting streams with pipes and equipment which had lain dormant for some time. He foresaw a drought coming and took corrective action before it occurred.

Trouble comes to the valley in the form of a coal mining company who is trying to obtain rights to mine from the ranchers. They all start out agreeing that the beautiful serenity of the valley could be destroyed by strip mining. The Darley’s ranch has the most plentiful deposit of coal and they become the most adamant in denying the mining operation. Conflict abounds with the mining company, the Darleys, and other ranchers. Those who left the anti-mining coalition have capitulated and signed contracts which allow the company to get coal from their lands. Hired hooligans trespass on Darley’s land and this leads to an exciting conclusion.

Greer has written several C J Floyd mystery-detective books which have been reviewed, among them, “Blackbird Farewell”. These books were immensely enjoyed and are a good demonstration of his writing abilities. “Spoon” is a worthy read. However, it seems that the adventures of C J Floyd are more entertaining. This is a modern western with shoot ‘em up bang-bang features which you will enjoy as in the cloud of dust the masked man rides away always with the same ending, who was that man? Spoon, of course!

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