A Bad Place to Be by John Hansen
A Bad Place to Be is a Western novel by John Hansen.
Josh jumped to his feet. “Let her go,” he commanded.
And with that the big guy, who had grabbed the girl with his left hand, suddenly released her and then swung across his body with a big left hook intended for Josh’s chin. Unfortunately for the big guy he’d telegraphed his intentions and Josh stepped back slightly, allowing the punch to miss. At the same time Josh snapped a left jab out that caused the big man’s nose to explode. Blood immediately began to stream down over the big man’s lips. The taste of his own blood seemed to enrage him even more. “You sonovabitch, I’m gonna kill you,” he seethed. And with that he lunged at Josh, only to be met by a left-right combination that dropped him to the floor. The big man lay prostrate, face down. Blood began to pool around his face.
Josh Morrow is a young Texan, recently discharged from the Army after having spent the last five years fighting Comanches. He’s not a gunfighter, just a no nonsense guy who has a dream of owning a ranch but now all that is being jeopardized by the murder of his friend (Seth Jacobs) who was to have been his partner. Josh is not one to run from a fight but the odds are against him when he rides into the Idaho gold rush town of Bear Creek. Finding Seth’s killer immediately becomes complicated when he befriends a woman (Sarah) that has been forced to turn to prostitution in order to survive. Things get even more difficult for Josh when he and his new friend butt heads with the town’s corrupt sheriff.
Avenging his friend’s death is a struggle for Josh not only because of the evil men opposing him, but his feelings for Sarah who has deceived him. Josh must reconcile this as well as just what does he owe Seth?
A Word from the Author
When I set out to write this book, I wanted it to have a realism, an authenticity to it. It is set in 1870 in the Idaho Territory during a gold rush that actually occurred in the Boise Basin. The town of Bear Creek is fictional but Boise and Idaho City are not and I have attempted to depict them as they were then. I did considerable research for this book. The weapons, clothing, food, etc. depicted have all been referenced to that period in history. But even more I purposely wanted my main protagonist, Josh Morrow, to be believable. He is not invincible nor is he a brooding character with a dark past that must ride off alone into the sunset after he has cleaned up the town. He doesn’t wear a tie down gun rig and he makes no claim to being a gunfighter – but he is solid in a gunfight. I try also to write as if my words are a movie in the reader’s mind’s eye – if that makes sense. In other words when you read that Josh stepped into a saloon I want you to smell the cigar smoke, body odor and stench from a spittoon overdue to be emptied. My goal is to take the reader from the comfort of their home in suburbia back in time to where they’re riding along with Josh in the mountains of Idaho.
At some point in the future I may write further about Josh but for now A BAD PLACE TO BE stands alone. It has won two awards, most recently as a finalist for the 2016 Independent Author’s Network Book of the Year competition in the Action/Adventure category. And it also won the 2015 Indie Excellence Award for the Western genre. I have a new novel CHASING DEMONS that will be out in late September, 2016.
(John Hansen, August 2016)
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