When a ruthless land baron employs threats and violence toward the townsfolk of Canyon Creek to build his empire, they summon Danner and Payne to even the odds.
Return to Canyon Creek
In the third installment of the international award winning series by John Layne comes a story that reunites the justice-seeking duo of Luxton Danner and Wes Payne for their toughest test yet.
After suffering the loss of their beloved Marshal, the peaceful town of Canyon Creek is besieged by a merciless land baron with visions of turning the quiet settlement into a raucous boomtown. Employing threats and violent tactics to force out vulnerable ranchers, farmers and proprietors, Gilford Knox set his sights on devouring every inch of land in and near Canyon Creek. Now, Knox held businesses occupy half the town, and the remaining proprietors are being pressured to sell or suffer the consequences.
When Knox builds a rowdy saloon, mercantile, hotel and bawdy house, an old friend summons Danner and Payne, who bring their gunslinging brand of justice to quell Knox and his posse of renegades. Joined by a quartet of former Buffalo Soldiers, a gun toting farm girl, and mysterious young gunfighter, Danner and Payne set out to do what they do best, defend Canyon Creek or die trying.
Book 3 in the series. A Luxton Danner Novel
"Layne honors the tried-and-true archetypes of the western genre while breathing fresh life into the rich conflicts that emerge when wilderness, civilization, and commerce all meet–and he doesn’t skimp on action and humor. The introduction of the Buffalo Soldiers, the all-Black regiment formed as a peacekeeping regiment by Congress during the 1860s, adds welcome diversity and interest to the story, and Layne challenges expectations in other ways, as well: While Westerns have a reputation for damsels in distress, the women here are anything but helpless and in need of rescuing.
Still, Return to Canyon Creek’s scenes of gunslingers and confrontations–like the confrontation with a horse thief that re-introduces Danner–play out like favorite movie moments, with the dustups and showdowns crisply described, right down to sound effects and dialogue: “‘I told you I wasn’t done with you yet!’ he snarled before a lightning bolt of pain shot through his skull.” In fact, the dust has little time to settle between the big moments, though Layne layers in welcome mystery, subterfuge, and romance. Layne has penned a polished tale that celebrates the legacy of the western, checking all the boxes but adding some special touches. Takeaway: This rousing western offers spirited shootouts, dustups, and storytelling. Great for fans of Cameron Judd, A.W. Hart."