Steve Peters

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Steve Peters

Steve Peters’s book reviews

Wyoming published in 1908 was the first of Raine's novels set in the American West.

Whilst moving to the Western genre was a departure from his earlier short stories set in the English countryside, this book (as did many of those that followed) also has a deeply embedded romantic theme. Indeed in "Wyoming" there are two opportunities for love in a situation where hundreds of isolated cow-punchers have the choice of only two pretty girls.

However the developing love between several of the books characters plays second fiddle to the story of honour-bound action between the goodies on the "Lazy D" ranch and the related outlaw that has a bone to pick with a cousin and his sweetheart.

Plenty of interest for any reader that enjoys this genre. Well written and very much the page turner.
08/23/2010
Western novels by William Macleod Raine always leave a strong impression that he lived within and at the time of the event being told. Indeed in the present story reference is made to a "Kodak" picture which puts the tale between 1888 and 1910, and one gets the feeling that Raine was personally acquainted with some or all of the real people behind the fictitious tale. The modern reader is presented therefore with a history long since past - which to Raine (who lived on the border of Texas) was happening at that time. From that perspective, the never say die attitude of the Texas Ranger (and indeed the cattlemen and women of the frontier) hold a serious and intriguing fascination.

In his book, Raine's third we are in fact presented with two novellas; the plots of which stand alone, but which are glued together by a single character - Steve Fraser, Texas Ranger.

The books seems a little half finished at times and is somewhat jumpy but it is a good read for anyone into the western genre.
08/19/2010
Lack of Political Correctness abounds in this fast moving story which portrays the accountability that must occur between the honest toughness of good-men and the brutal greed of the bad. As with most good stories of this ilk it includes the devotion of a rancher's beautiful daughter; towards both sides as and when it is found to be necessary.

Easily read this book flows well and would excite anyone with an interest in the tales of the American old-time West
08/13/2010
Brady's first work presents the reader with the character of a female Crusoe shipwrecked on an unknown speck of island - but where Man Friday is already the sole occupant. The early ship-wreck victim is quickly dubbed Man during a first English lesson by Woman (Katharine Brenton), an intelligent feminist with strong views on God, Religion and Men.

Man (later determined to be John Revell Charnock who arrived as a shipwreck victim some 20 or so years earlier) becomes the willing pupil.

Man and Woman, as the reader might expect of any couple confined together for 3 years, develop a deep and unrequited love for each other; which at the point of consummation is interrupted by the arrival of Historical Man (Valentine Arthur Langford), who has some "ownership" over Woman. The visit and the history turn the world of Man upside down, resulting in a state of long repent for Woman, the Man and Historical Man.

An interesting story with strong themes, a heavy word usage, and an extraordinarily early take on feminism by a male writer.
08/12/2010
Ah yes, where have the days gone where soldiers would fight for their country and suffer the inconvenience of possible and actual death without complaint, steadfast in the knowledge that their life meant less than the freedom of their home?

This story - a love story on two fronts - tells of Captain John Seymour Seymour (repetition of name not a mistake) and his struggle twixt love for Kate and love for his country during the time of General Washington's battle against the British.

At times overly flowery and somewhat whimsical, the yarn does deliver some unforgettable characters; and daring, at times gruesome imagery.

A must for any citizen of the USA and England if only for its reminder that chivalry even in battle and certainly in love far exceeds the bully boy tactics of modern gangs and individual thugs.

Still a good read and worth the effort to do so.
08/05/2010
A fun book, easy enough to read, and flowing quite nicely for the vast majority of its pages.

Some extraordinary scenes that add colour but reduce some believability - for example happening to shoot an accidental straight bullet into the head of a tiger whilst having the life scared out of you whilst atop an elephant who has been attacked by the ferocious cat - even though the shooter has never held a gun, seen a tiger, or ridden a pachyderm (quite far-fetched? - you betcha!).

Nevertheless the book is ahead of its time in respect of the strength of character of the hero Miss Lois Cayley who is ready to take on the world with tuppence in her pocket; and to show those that she meets, men, women, friends, lovers, relatives alike - that she is a woman who knows what she wants and will not compromise to meet the usual norms of society.

Worth reading.
07/26/2010
The story of Mary Magdelen's discovery of Christ as her truth and promise. Told in the form of a full, descriptive and colorful prose, Well written to the extent that for anyone with an understanding of the story of Christ, and who thus knows the facts of the final moments inclusive of his crucifixion, there remains the faint hope that perhaps Mary will prevail with her confronting entreaties towards Judas, Herod, Pilate and the Centurions, so as to safe the life of the King of the Jews.
06/09/2010
Once again I am left wondering why I have not come across this wonderful author before. This novel has even more intrigue than "Prescott of Saskatchewan" although the basic plot is similar in a both books. In the present case, love meets hard work on the western plains of the Canadian prairie. Strength of character faces off against devious laziness and murder inflicted in the most cowardly of methods. Will the outsider Winston get his just deserts - perhaps ... but do not expect a typical ending at quite the time that would normally befall such a chivalrous tale. This book then as for all others I have read from Bindloss is almost impossible to put down.
05/30/2010
A wonderful tale for male and female readers alike, gripping and written with a zest and description that causes shivers - as if you too were thrust into the cold blizzard of the Canadian plains. A western story of ambition, hard work, honesty, chivalry and love. The plot constantly intrigues, pulling at the reader - who wonders if Prescott's name will be righted by the loss of suspicion, or the return of the supposed dead, or both.

Bindloss is a writer who is well worthy revisiting - eminently readable even today.
05/28/2010
I actually found this to be a slightly atypical Fletcher novel. Difficult to put down even though as the reader you feel certain that you know who the murderer is from the get go - and then again maybe you're wrong. Fletcher in this case manages to keep you on edge and ever wondering at least slightly, to the point that the last two murders (and there are plenty of others) details that not is all as it seems. Plenty of intrigue and still very, very readable even after 90 years.
05/12/2010