Action-packed and filled with suspense, Death Rider by D.J. Stephens is a sure winner for historical western fans.
Brodie Jones sees his future and all his dreams dashed when an Apache war party descimates the Santiago hacienda and massacres the entire family, including Brodie's wife to be, Maria. With nothing left to live for and hell bent on revenge, the mountain man tracks the Apache warriors from Taos to Mexico and back again. After killing most of the war party, Brodie continues to track the remaining eight Apache warriors, only to find them ambushed and killed by scalp hunters. Now adrift and without a mission, Brodie wonders what he should do next. When a strange event finds him in the position of protecting the Apaches, Brodie's life is changed forever.
This is the first historical western I had read in a long time and the first novel by D.J. Stephens I had picked up. For all his toughness, Brodie is a sympathetic character whose entire life is turned upside down by the brutal murder of the Santiago family. Stephens explores through recurrent nightmares and dreams the depth of Brodie's pain and suffering. But Brodie isn't a man to be messed with. He savagely murders those responsible for the deaths of the Santiago family. Stephens' attention to detail brings this story to life and reminds the reader of the dangerous times in which Brodie lived.
The cover art is beautifully done. The rider on his horse looking out over the terrain as the storm clouds roll in is both striking and symbolic.
I eagerly look forward to reading more from D.J. Stephens.
Title: Death Rider Author: D. J. Stephens Publisher: Infinity Publishing ISBN: 0-7414-4550-6 U.S. Price: $11.95