Editorial Review: God’s Coffin by Richard Greene
Wade Garrison’s Promise is an exceptional Western novel, so God’s Coffin had pretty big boots to fill, but thankfully Richard Greene does not disappoint.
God’s Coffin by Richard Greene is the second book in his Wade Garrison series and is set six years after the events of Wade Garrison’s Promise. Although Wade made good on his promise of revenge for the cold-blooded murder of his friend Emmett Spears it was an act that took a big toll on him. After leaving Harper, Colorado behind to become a Deputy Marshal in Santa Fe, Wade is living a simple life with his wife Sarah and six-year-old son, Emmett. However, the past catches up with him when he is sent back to Colorado to assist his old friend, Sheriff Seth Bowlen, with some trouble that is brewing in the town of Sisters. Due to its close proximity to Harper, Wade takes his wife and son along so that they can visit her family while he attends to matters. Unfortunately, the trouble that Sheriff Bowlen is dealing with turns out to be more complicated than expected and to his dismay, Wade’s family becomes embroiled in the fallout.
Having to deal with murder and corruption in a small town might not sound as exciting as tracking outlaws across the country, but the story goes down quite a few unexpected paths to shake things up. Not only are the stakes higher for Wade now that he has a family to protect, but being a Deputy Marshal also means that there are rules that he has to adhere to if he wants to stay on the right side of the law. Unfortunately for Wade, the people that he is up against have no qualms about playing dirty.
Although Wade Garrison’s Promise is not required reading to enjoy God’s Coffin, doing so is highly recommended as there are things that tie the two novels together. Wade has definitely done a lot of growing up during and after the events of the first book and in God’s Coffin, he is a more calm, confident, and self-assured character. However, when his family becomes endangered there are still some flashes of the old Wade.
Like the original novel, God’s Coffin is written in an easy to read style and features a likable protagonist as well as compelling supporting characters. The scenes with Sarah and Emmett reveals a softer side to Wade and his banter with Sheriff Bowlen is as enjoyable as ever. The villains are also more despicable in this novel as they are not on the run, but using wealth and influence to try and escape justice. Unlike the extended chase scene of the first novel, God’s Coffin is set mostly in and around the towns of Sisters and Harper, but this doesn’t make it any less exciting. Wade and Bowlen have their work cut out for them and the two of them don’t always see eye to eye on how to get the job done either, which makes for interesting conflicts.
This novel does take a couple of unexpected and very dark turns, and while the ending is not exactly a cliffhanger, it does set Wade on a very different path. With God’s Coffin Richard Greene proves that Wade Garrison’s Promise wasn’t a fluke and once again delivers a western novel anyone can enjoy. It offers a great blend of action, intrigue, and drama, all wrapped up in a story that is hard to put down once you’ve started.