W. L. RIPLEY – Storme Front. Wyatt Storme #2. Henry Holt, hardcover, 1995. Brash Books, paperback, 2005.

   As I recall, my comment on the first of this series was “pretty good for what it is” — and what it was, was a typical Spenser/Hawk, Cole/Pike, etc., cowboy story. I seem to like the breed a little less each year, but I’ll still read ’em if they’re decently written, so —

   Wyatt Storme, ex-Dallas Cowboy, Viet Nam vet, and semi-recluse, comes down off his Colorado mountain when an old college acquaintance inveigles him into acting as bodyguard on an illegal weapons deal by hinting at some danger to another old friend of Storme’s.

   The deal goes bad and people are killed, but that’s just the start. Wyatt and his badass friend Chick Easton start looking for answers and find some that threaten not only them but Storme’s relaionship with his lover.

   Well, Ripley still writes cowboy stories, and he still writes them well enough, and there’s not much more to say. He’s quite good on banter and one-liners, but that’s not really enough to carry a whole book. The wisecracking. brooding, semi-tragic hero and his lethal sidekick tak eon the bad guys, kick some righteous ass, kill a few people, and leave the world a better place for us all while the law watches admiringly and from a respectful distance.

   It’s the masculine-machoequivalent of a good cozy, decently done, basically silly, utterly forgettable.

— Reprinted from Ah Sweet Mysteries #18, February-March 1995.

       The Wyatt Storme series —

Dreamsicle (1993) Reprinted as Hail Storme (2015)
Storme Front (1994)
Electric Country Roulette (1996) Reprinted as Eye of the Storme (2016)
Storme Warning (2015)