Wednesday, January 25, 2023

These Violent Years (MacCoole & Boone #1)


Title:  These Violent Years (MacCoole & Boone #1)

Author:  William W. Johnstone and J. A. Johnstone

Pages:  344

Year:  2023

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Keller MacCoole and Hookum Boone are two new characters that are joining the vast offering of tales by the Johnstones. As of the writing of this review, the book is available at Walmart or from the authors’ website at

The action starts when these two men meet in a deadly engagement during the war; one was a Rebel while the other was a Yankee. However, when the fighting was over, these two men became fast friends. They saw in each other a man who could stand up against the best. While they are very different from each other, they work together to make a living. In this first book of the series, these two men are sent for and went to a town called Brimstone in Utah territory.

Knowing nothing else except that they would be handsomely paid, they make the trek and meet one Hezekiah Creed. The man owns the town, lock, stock and barrel under the guise of religion. Mac is a reader and loves a good piece of pie, while Hokum loves women, booze and gambling. When the men go to Brimstone, they discover it is a dry place with nothing to do but work and watch your back. Creed claims he is harassed by men he calls The Outcasts. He ought to know as he had them removed from  town. It didn’t matter to Creed that these men had family, homes and businesses in town, because he wanted everything. Unfortunately, some of the women came willingly while others did not and paid a price for their unwillingness to follow a man who calls himself The Anointed One.

As Mac and Boone start unraveling the mystery, they quickly learn an ugly truth…all is not right in Brimstone. Now they must make a choice to stay or leave, that is if they are allowed to leave alive. When they devise a plan to undo the wrongs done to the townsfolk, they are about to pay a toll that is quite high. The fly in the ointment is that some of the townsfolk don’t want to be rescued or to have Creed dealt with in any manner.

I think the new series and characters are interesting. It is a novel that grabbed my attention from the start. A tale where two men, who were once mortal enemies and now best of friends, taking on tough jobs brings a nuance to the series that keeps readers turning pages for hours! At this point, it is hard to choose which of these two male leads is my favorite. Mac is a reader and a low-key kind of a man, and Boone is rowdy and lets his mouth run away with him. There is never a dull moment with these two!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

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