Black Jack Derringer Book I: The Ace of Spades by K. H. Koehler

I don’t know quite how to describe this one. Cyberpunky, post-apocalyptic western? Pure fun if you like an old-fashioned shoot-em-up and muto horses with bulletproof hides.

“Wild” Alice West is a bounty hunter in the vast desert known as the Skillet, an area with an Old West feel, but she’s barely hanging on in a culture where a woman doing a man’s job gets no respect. In a saloon, she meets Mr. Treen, an albino card shark who she thinks would be the perfect front man for her. Of course, Mr. Treen has surprising talents and scary secrets of his own.

The Skillet is a rough, dangerous place, no doubt about it. And Alice gets in more than her fair share of scrapes, but doesn’t seem to regret anything. She does what she has to do. She’s got guts, I’ll give her that. I’m not sure who or what Mr. Treen is, but he’s definitely more than he lets on.

The moment split under the rough cough of gunfire.

All six bullets were fired from the Colts in the ex-dead men’s hands, twelve bullets in all, lusting for entry into Mr. Treen’s thick skull—except Mr. Treen must have detected them in some prophetic way, because he dropped the black Derringer Mr. Lawson had given him, and in the split second before impact, had somehow managed to dance between the bullets.

Alice felt like she was caught in a dream, watching the impossible. (pg. 60)

Quick and a blast to read. Non-stop action, gunfights, a crooked sheriff, sandboats and pirates. Unpredictable and engrossing; I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

You can buy the Kindle version on Amazon and you can get the print version at The Merchant’s Keep.

Published November 27, 2009 by Skullvines Press
Black Jack Derringer #1
103 pages

Challenges: 100+, Speculative Fiction

I won my copy and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.