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DEAD MAN'S HAND by David Nix - A Reader's Opinion

DEAD MAN'S HAND by David Nix

A Reader's Opinion

David Nix has a writing style that draws a reader into the story so they become one with the landscape and characters.

DEAD MAN'S HAND, the first in a new progressive western series, and my first read by this author, takes the reader on a journey through inhospitable country, making way for a lot of adventure.

Jake Paynter is, to me, and should be as the protagonist, the most interesting of the characters. Outwardly, he is complex, but as one reads, they see how he is a normal guy who suffered his share of troubles, and whose moral compass steered him back to the right path.

I am not sure if the author's intention was to outline how any system of justice is rarely just, but he did a good job of it. The story is a journey from start to finish, and though it was lengthy at times, the adventure and action kept going. There is a host of secondary characters from a variety of backgrounds and cultures—a few I liked more than others, and Gus being my favorite—who provide a lot of support to Jake and add extra dimension.

DEAD MAN'S HAND is an engaging book, and this reader recommends it for fans of historical western fiction. The book ends in a satisfying conclusion even as the reader knows there will be more to come from Jake Paynter. It will be interesting to see what happens with him next.


Dead Man's Hand

An action-packed historical western for fans of William Johnstone and Louis L'Amour.

Condemned to die, he's about to find a reason to live.

Jake Paynter is a doomed man. Haunted by an abusive childhood and his participation in atrocities of the Civil War, he seeks the isolation of the Plains Cavalry as a white officer for an all-Black buffalo soldier troop. Now, he is in irons and certain to be hanged for killing his captain after refusing an inhumane order. Despite his best efforts to maintain isolation, he starts to make friends on his journey to trial. The people of the wagon train begin looking to Paynter for leadership, and he reluctantly falls into the role.

The opportunity to escape arises when the wagon train is attacked by bandits, but Paynter's growing ties to the travelers compel him to stay. As his trial approaches, Paynter must lean on his friends for salvation, but the laws of the west are swift and harsh, and a grueling confrontation with his past is on the horizon.


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Genre: Historical Western Fiction

Release: February 22, 2022

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Format Read: E-Book

Source: Provided by the author or publisher via NetGalley

Content Rating: PG-13 (2): No Sex; Some Violence; not a romance novel)

NOTE: Ratings are only provided for content (sex, violence, language, etc.). We do not give star ratings on this blog, though reviewers may do so on retail outlets and Goodreads. We review and share only those books we have enjoyed and think others will enjoy, too. Learn more.

Disclaimer: Books & Benches received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. Opinions expressed in this review are completely those of the reader/reviewer. See full disclaimer below.


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