Western tale of revenge is captivating
Not being an avid reader of Westerns I was not really sure what to expect when I picked up a copy of Wells author Matt Halloway's debut novel.
I didn't need to wait long to find out as it was a hard book to put down.
Set in 1877, Under a Blood Red Sun is a tale of revenge as two childhood friends have taken very different paths after being torn apart by love and war.
Punctuated throughout with sharp, Tarantino-style dialogue the tale follows a man hunt through the harsh and unforgiving desert.
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Although the bones of the story might sound familiar there are so many twists and turns in the plot it makes it hard to write a review without giving too much away.
The cast are far from the stereotypes which so often populate the genre as they are well developed and believable.
Far more a psychological thriller than adventure story Under a Blood Red Sky can sometimes have a metaphysical feel as the desert almost assumes a character of its own.
Vengeance is not the only motivation of the characters involved as their desire turns to possessiveness and previous innocence justifies corruption.
Despite the fact that the gruesome events are ones that we, fortunately, are unlikely to ever experience ourselves the fleshed out characters made it possible to empathise with their plight.
And gruesome events there are as characters drop like flies and turn the desert sand as red at the sky in the title.
In the mould of No Country For Old Men and True Grit, Under a Blood Red Sky is a satisfying read and one that you get out of it as much as you are willing to put in.