Book Reviews

Hell and Gone by Tal Bauer

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Cowboys / Officers of the Law / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 08-August-2019

Book Blurb

Everett Dawson, Montana’s newest Stock Detective, has been sent from Helena down to the Crazy Mountains. Cattle are going missing in the Crazies and Everett is charged with finding these modern-day rustlers and bringing them in.

When he arrives, he finds a hanged cowboy and a heap of questions. Was it suicide or was it murder? Why are cowboys fleeing the Crazies? Far from a simple investigation, Everett's case plunges deep into the mountains' dark past.

Lawrence Jackson, the bad boy who runs the Lazy Twenty Two, was the last man to see the dead cowboy alive. There’s a whole forest fire of smoke swirling around Lawrence, and where there’s smoke, there’s flame... and maybe even murder.

But Everett is drawn to Lawrence, and if he takes the risk Lawrence offers, will Everett find what he craves, or will the Crazies claim their next victim?

Book Review

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” ~ William Shakespeare

Lawrence Jackson, of ‘Hell and Gone’ by Tal Bauer, has the reputation of being a hothead and stirring up trouble. When he finds someone close to him hanging from a tree, he loses it. He cuts down his friend, takes him directly to the sheriff’s office, and dumps the body on his desk! Needless to say, this doesn’t go over too well with Sheriff Braddock. Lawrence (Law) has been trying to get Braddock to investigate cattle and people who have gone missing from the ranches in the area, but so far, to no avail. The sheriff promises to look into the situation; he tells Law to go home and cool off. Law isn’t at all sure anything will be done about the situation, at least not to his satisfaction, until Everett Dawson, newly designated stock detective, arrives at Law’s ranch.

Everett has been assigned to investigate what is happening in the Crazies, which is what the area around the ranches is called. It is clear from what Braddock tells him that he suspects that Law is involved. He and Law have a history. There’s bad blood between them. Everett is there to investigate the hanged man’s death. The sheriff says it’s a suicide, but Law is adamant that Carson would never kill himself, that he was murdered. At first, Law doesn’t know what to think of Everett, but after watching his superior tracking and evidence gathering, he is highly impressed. Everett is wary of Law, especially after the prejudicial opinion the sheriff portrayed, but, so far, his judgement of Law doesn’t seem to match what he’s been told.

After finding another body with similar clues, Everett is sure he can find the killer and tells the sheriff as much. Everett is asleep in his hotel room when Law crawls through his bedroom window, basically ordering him to come with him right away. Apparently, when Everett said he was able to identify the murderer from the clues he has, he put a target on his back. Right now, the men responsible are headed over to kill him. Everett has a choice to make: he can either believe Law and go with him, or stay and possibly face his death.

The entire time I was reading this story I was thinking: “Wow! This would make a great movie!” It’s got all the makings of an action film: strong, silent but tough broken men, intrigue, mystery, suspense, murder, and romance! Way to go, Tal! Thanks for the exciting read.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 197 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-June-2019
Price $4.99 ebook, $8.99 paperback
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