Author: Phil Bowie
Publisher: Medallion Press, Inc
Published: Aug, 2006
Length: 357 pages
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Buy now at Amazon.ca
The Cowboy is a man with a past. Known to the residents of Ocracoke island as Sam Bass, this pilot-for-hire lives a quiet, simple life until his heroic part in a dangerous sea rescue gains national attention. Unfortunately, Sam’s old employer is one of the people who sees the newspaper story. A player in the shady world of light weapons trading, Louis Strake dispatches a hit team to the remote Northern Carolina island. Their orders? Put a permanent end to Strake’s association with The Cowboy.
Sam is a government witness who has gotten a little too comfortable. Too many people know his habits. And it’s only quick thinking and a lot of luck that saves his life. His beautiful girlfriend, Valerie, isn’t so lucky. She’s killed by an explosive charge the hit team places in The Cowboy’s jeep.
Forced back into the witness protection program and unable to make any contact with Valerie’s five-year-old son, The Cowboy decides to avenge Valerie’s death in the way of her Cherokee ancestors. Enlisting the help of Valerie’s grandfather, he prepares himself mentally and physically for what lies ahead. Then he goes hunting.
Guns is Phil Bowie’s commentary on the world of arms dealing. His protagonist is a morally ambivalent pilot who steps a little too far into that dark land and tries to escape by taking down the man who brought him in. When this effort fails, the feds give The Cowboy a new identity and encourage him to completely forget his old life. He’s okay with this. But once that new life is shattered, Bowie’s anti-hero coldly and methodically exacts the kind of revenge countless real-world victims only dream about.
Bowie is a skilled writer. I wouldn’t have guessed Guns was his first novel. Take away the lengthy monologues he blatantly uses to provide backstory and you’ve got a terrific book.
(This review was originally published in 2006 by the gottawritenetwork.com)
Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye 2009
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