book cover of First Shot

First Shot

(The first book in the Caleb Thorn series)
A novel by

The brainchild of Amazon Kindle Number One bestselling western writers Mike Stotter and Ben Bridges, PICCADILLY PUBLISHING is dedicated to reissuing classic fiction from Yesterday and Today!


Caleb Thorn: callous, young, wealthy, he'd always enjoyed killing for kicks and revenge. Then the Civil War gave him a cause, a new thirst for vengeance - and more scope for his murderous instincts than he'd ever had before!

Jubal Hardin: big and strong as an ox, there was only one kind of fighting he didn't know - the clean kind ...

Natchez: he looked like a half-breed - but he'd cut the ears off a man just for calling him that ...

Rhett Stuart: a Southerner fighting on the Northern side, he was most dangerous when he seemed most quiet ...

Wilhelm Brandt: the big, stolid explosives expert who could cheerfully kill three men with his bare hands when the drink was in him ...

Sam Shuckstein: small, agile and deadly, he had the lightest fingers and the quickest knife in the Union army ...

Oliver Bell: barely more than a boy, he weighed nearly 250 pounds, was a genius with horses - and had strangled two men who tried to get between him and his food ...

There was nothing magnificent about these seven. They just had to do the dirtiest jobs in a dirty war - if they wanted to stay alive. And they sure wanted to stay alive ...


Laurence James was a prolific British editor-turned-author whose many western series, including APACHE, HERNE THE HUNTER, CALEB THORN and GUNSLINGER, dominated popular fiction throughout the 1970s and 80s. In addition to his vast western output, James (who became a full-time writer in 1972) also wrote under the names James Axler (the DEATHLANDS and EARTH BLOOD series), James Darke (THE WITCHES), Arthur Frazier (WOLFSHEAD), Neil Langholm (THE VIKINGS), James McPhee (SURVIVAL 2000), Jonathan May (the CONFESSIONS series), Klaus Netzen (THE KILLERS), Mick Norman (ANGELS) and Andrew Quiller (THE EAGLES), plus two stand-alone novels as Richard Haigh. His frequent collaborators included Terry Harknett, John Harvey, Angus Wells and Kenneth Bulmer

Genre: Western

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Used availability for Laurence James's First Shot

Hardback Editions

January 1980 : UK Hardback

Title: First Shot (Caleb Thorn/L. J. Coburn)
Author(s): L J Coburn
ISBN: 0-7278-0545-2 / 978-0-7278-0545-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

June 1977 : UK Paperback

Title: First Shot (Caleb Thorn / L. J. Coburn)
Author(s): L J Coburn
ISBN: 0-7221-2462-7 / 978-0-7221-2462-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sphere
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

December 2012 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Caleb Thorn 1: The First Shot (A Caleb Thorn Western)
Author(s): L J Coburn
Publisher: Piccadilly Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU