Thursday, 24 October 2013

Review - Morgan Kane: Without Mercy

Morgan Kane: Without Mercy
By Louis Masterson
Publisher: WR Films Entertainment Group, Inc
Pub. Date: November 7, 2011
Pages: 126


From the dime novels of the late 1800s to the Louis L'Amour paperbacks of the 1950s - 1980s, the wild west novels (and movies) were extremely popular, but over the years the genre has been slowly disappearing, though you can occasionally find a new western release, but not as many as there use to be.

Recently I received a limited edition paperback (for reviewers only) of Morgan Kane: Without Mercy from the publisher. The book was first published in 1966 in Norway by Louis Masterson (real name is Kjell Hallbing), the first of a 41 book series. In 2011, WR Films Entertainment Group, Inc. bought the rights and began releasing the series as eBooks in America. There is also a feature film adaptation in the works based on the franchise with the working title Morgan Kane: The Legend Begins.

In Without Mercy, Morgan Kane was once known as the gunfighter "El Gringo" when he rode with the gang lead by “El Coyote," but he left the gang and became a Texas Ranger in 1881. Now, Morgan finds himself in St. Louis playing one of his favorite past times - poker. Despite having a natural talent for gambling, he loses several thousands of dollars and suspects the three other players might be cheating, but without any evidence there is nothing for him to do.

Besides gambling, Morgan's other weakness is women and he happens to meet a beautiful woman, Alison, while on a train headed to Springfield, where he is to report back to Fort Worth. He works his charms and the woman notices his handsomeness, but she isn't who she says she is, as lurking in the shadows of the train are the three poker players and they ambush Morgan.

Morgan wakes up in the middle-of-nowhere and he is badly injured; his gun hand crippled. To his luck, a rancher finds him and helps him gain his strength, where in time Morgan will bound his paralyzed finger to his middle finger with a leather strap, put on his gun belt and go after the bad guys.

In a cross between Maverick, Clint Eastwood and James Bond, Morgan Kane is a womanizer, gambler and a gunslinger with a haunting past; all which makes an interesting character. At 126 pages, the book is a fast read, but don't let the short page count push you away from reading it, as Without Mercy is a well-written western with plenty of action. Yes, the revenge tale has been done to death, but thanks to a great main character and an intriguing storytelling, the book avoids all the vengeance clich├ęs and adds plenty of thrills and mystery. Overall, Morgan Kane: Without Mercy is cleverly written western and I think it is great it is being released for a new generation of fans can get acquainted with the character before the movie is released. I highly recommend it!

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