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Vengeance Gun

(Book 12 in the Brand series)
A novel by

When Frank McCord of the Justice Department is kidnapped, the Attorney General calls on the one man who stands a hope in hell of finding him -- the Department's toughest operative, Jason Brand.
But from the moment he accepts the assignment, Brand becomes a target for the men who are determined to stop him finding McCord. What they don't understand is that McCord is not just his boss - he's also a friend, and that makes all the difference.
Nothing less than a well-aimed bullet will stop him from saving McCord. But even when Brand does track him down, his troubles are far from over. With a violent bunch after him, and a seriously injured McCord on his hands, Brand has to outrun a relentless pursuit.
No matter how ruthless the gang is, or how big the stakes, there's one thing the bad guys fail to appreciate ... and that is Jason Brand's skill with a vengeance gun.

Although the bulk of Mike Linaker's fiction has appeared in the action-adventure genre, where he regularly chronicled the adventures of Gold Eagle's Mack Bolan, he remains one of Britain's most accomplished western writers.

Mike's main interest in adolescence was science fiction. "The western influence came from film and television," he later explained. "One day I happened across a Fawcett Gold Medal western called Tough Hombre by Dudley Dean. Something about the cover just hooked me, and after I finished reading it I'd become a western fan in no uncertain terms."

Mike's first published western was Incident at Butler's Station (1967), a neat variation on the "group of people under siege" theme, in this case a soldier, a band of outlaws en route to jail and a strong-willed woman, all of them trapped in a Wells Fargo way-station surrounded by Apaches. This book, and its successor, were both originally issued under the pseudonym "Richard Wyler".

That second book was a pursuit story entitled Savage Journey (1967). The hero here is Luke Kennick, a former soldier whose last patrol was wiped out by marauding Comanches. Tensions rise when Kennick -- now a rancher - agrees to escort the Indian chief who led the ambush across country for trial. Kennick's task is complicated when he finds and rescues a woman in the desert.

The "maverick lawman" theme surfaced in Mike's Jason Brand series, written as "Neil Hunter" and originally published in Norway by Morgan Kane publisher Bladkompaniet. Brand is a former US Marshal turned gun-for-hire, and the series contains several of Mike's most intriguing plots, such as in Devil's Gold where - in its original form - a trail of Confederate gold leads Brand to Jamaica, where he locks horns with a Chinese renegade and teams up with a British secret agent!

However, probably his best-known western series to date is that featuring Bodie the Stalker, again written as "Neil Hunter". Bodie is a bounty hunter, and with its violent and often intense plots, the series successfully recreates the mood of the old Spaghetti westerns.

Genre: Western

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