Dime novels had given Ben Cameron a legendary reputation as The Scottish Gun. A Texas Ranger lauded by Buffalo Bill Cody, a Pinkerton agent, a hired assassin—Cameron had supposedly done it all. But reality is far from fiction as it's a washed-up, drunken Cameron who rides into the dying mining town of Purgatoire. The townsfolk only know what they've read, though, and when a series of murders plunges the town into panic, Cameron is the first man they look to for protection. Can the fallen hero reinvent himself yet again to catch the killer?
|Publisher:||Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||4.14(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.12(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Purgatoire is an award-winning book, and after reading it, it's easy to see why it won the highest prize for new Westerns. Not long ago I'd read The Big Fifty by Johnny Boggs, and was mightily impressed with its accuracy, color, pace, and most of all with its characters that I actually cared about. Purgatoire is every bit as good as The Big Fifty, and that's saying a lot. I am a writer myself, with five books published, and I recently started to write Westerns. Actually, I just finished writing my second Western late last night. I had decided some time ago, that I would read as many books, by as many new writers of Westerns as I could, so I could see for myself what they were doing well, and the reverse. Many of these new writers have greatly impressed me with their story-telling skills, with books that were extremely enjoyable to read...but I must admit that so far, none has impressed me quite so much as Johnny Boggs. In Purgatoire, a drunken gunfighter and ex-lawman, Ben Cameron, widely known through out the West as 'The Scottish Gun,' arrives in the dying town of Purgatoire. He is running from trouble, is in the beginning a totally despicable character, about as sorry a drunk as one might find in literature. He meets a whore by the name of Amie Courtland, a once beautiful girl whose face had been slashed with a broken whiskey bottle by some drunken patron. Ben meets Amie, she's nice to him, he acts like a swine, but things happen. There is plenty of action in this story, all the shooting and gore one would want in a Western, but there is so much more. Murders are taking place, one after another in the town, and Ben Cameron ends up involved in it all, in helping to try to solve the crimes...all of this is quite engaging, fine story telling, a curious puzzle that the reader too, is trying to figure out...but best of all is the development of the characters themselves...they change. And the heroes of Purgatoire are not the standard, run of the mill, Mr Perfect & MS Perfect kinds at all; they are the opposite, downtrodden, unlucky, people no one admires...until the end, when we, the readers, admire them greatly for the way they rise to the occasion. There was one line in this book, when Cameron looks at Amie, who's just said something about her ruined face, and he says...and I'm probably not quoting this perfectly, but he says: 'Those scars could never hide your pretty face, Amie.' And he melts her cold heart right then, and he plum near melted mine, too. I highly recommend this excellent book!