Pistolero Review
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One of the best things about author Howard Hopkins is that he likes to mix genres together to create something utterly different and captivating. In Pistolero, he mixes a Western and a serial killer mystery—with a twist that’ll have you staring at the last page in total astonishment. When I reached the end, I smacked my forehead and said, “Oh, my gosh! I should have seen that coming!” It was truly brilliant.

On the dusty streets of Mascarada, New Mexico, a vicious killer stalks bar doves, slicing their throats and carving out their innards. He’s believed to be a man called Cale Branton, but no one can find him.

The Crucible Society, whose aim is to make the Wild West safer for decent folks to raise families, tracks down Johnny Hickok and offers him a pardon if he can bring in the killer. The only problem is that Johnny has to return to Mascarada, where his dreams died hard, and where promises broken still haunt him. And there’s the possibility that someone will find out that he’s a wanted man and hang him before he gets a chance to clear his name.

Once he’s in Mascarada, things become even more complicated than Johnny had hoped. A vigilante group called The Sons of Justice, led by a lawyer named Thomas Fate, start stringing up men at will. They claim that the poor man swinging from the rope is the Ripper-like killer—never mind that they’re always wrong and the killings continue.

Johnny finds that he may have to bring out the pistolero inside him in order to catch a ruthless killer and get a second chance at dreams once lost with the only woman he’s ever loved.

Pistolero is a Western, a love story, and a vicious murder mystery, all rolled into one adrenaline-packed novel. I’ve never encountered another male author who can bring out emotion in print like Mr. Hopkins does. That’s why he’s one of my favorite writers. I’ll go out of my way to obtain novels he’s written—and Pistolero is one of his best.

On the other side of the coin, though, Pistolero is also one chilling and gruesome read. Not only is the killer brutal, but he’s also psychotic and void of any type of emotion—something you wouldn’t want to encounter in a dark alley, because you’d get no mercy.

You have to read Pistolero! If you don’t, you’ll be missing out on one of the most engaging reads to hit bookstore shelves in ages.

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