Robert James Russell. Dock Street Press, $18 paperback (116p) ISBN: 9780991065745
There are no heroes in Mesilla—a quick and punchy western in which men make choices, some good, most bad—nor is there a shortage of bullets whizzing past. The story follows Everett who has been shot in the leg and is being hunted by a former pal and partner named George. After stumbling upon a dead miner and a hefty lump of silver, he sets out toward Mesilla, New Mexico intent on getting fixed up and starting anew. Along the way he wrestles with bad memories and real-life Apaches. He bleeds and sweats and shoots. He rescues a young woman named Erin and together they press onward. Author Russell keeps a perfect balance of grand imagery and hangman’s tension, and things culminate in a gritty and satisfying way. A simple story of pursued and pursuer wrapped in lush and stirring detail, Mesilla offers a great way to gallop through an easy afternoon with some cowboy coffee or a slug of whiskey. (September 2015)
Purchase Mesilla HERE.
Reviewer bio: Mel Bosworth is the author of the novel Freight and co-author with Ryan Ridge of the short story collection Camouflage Country. Visit him at melbosworth.com