I looked down at my hands on the keyboard and saw blood all over. I moved my eyes to my chest. More blood coming out of the bullet holes and leaking onto my shirt and trousers. I looked at my legs and saw blood coming from the holes in each one. What a bloody novel that reading it made me think I had blood all over and on the floor. I was even seeing red, too. It wasn't exactly like that, but Shotgun by C. Courtney Joyner was a bloody novel with the red juice and gore over practically every page and running through the snow.
This story is about Doctor John Bishop who sets out to avenge the death of his wife and kids who were killed in cold blood by a Major Beaudine and his partners in crime. Beaudine was looking for the gold that Bishop had buried somewhere or had knowledge of, and when Bishop wouldn't tell where it was, the gang killed the family and hacked off Bishop's right arm.and left him to bleed to death. And that's just the opening of the novel. It gets bloodier and gorier as the story progresses as Bishop catches up with one of the detestable bunch and while he is looking for the rest of them, the gang is looking for him now that he survived. John Bishop's arm is rigged with a double-barreled shotgun apparatus that he can operate without using his hands and he must use it a number of times in his quest for Beaudine. Bishop and his Cheyenne Indian girlfriend, White Fox, must kill or be killed as they continue looking for that contemptible Beaudine. White Fox becomes his right hand, putting on and taking off the shoulder apparatus that holds the shotgun and the bodies pile up. And, what do you know? There is a blind soldier, a Captain Creed, who reads everything around him with his other senses and his young helper, Hector,and the gang that he talks into following him for the gold who are also after the Doc, and more blood is let and the bodies just keep piling up.
Whew, I said, when I finally put the book down for the last time in reading it and the novel ended with a bang, a big bang in the dark of night and the survivors, if any, went on with their lives, question mark.
If you like lots of action and blood and gore and everything that it comes with, you'll like this book. Mr. Joyner's Spur award nominated short story, The Two-Bit Kill is included at the end of the novel as a bonus. I enjoyed that story, too. Shotgun was published by Pinnacle Books, Kensington Publishing Corp.