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Review: Escape from Hangtown

A Lucas Fume Western

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Escape From Hangtown closes the Lucas Fume series with immense humanity. Sweazy’s theater training brings characters to their feet. While it helps to have read the first Lucas Fume book, Vengeance at Sundown, you can pick up the thread easily with this new book and get tangled up with Fume as he tries to acclimate to the early landscape of Kansas while clearing up the painful aspects of his former life in Tennessee.

Fume is on a quest to prove a man’s innocence and bring to light another’s treachery. Gaining justice in an unjust culture comes with personal sacrifice. Fume is a tragic hero, flawed, good-hearted and bent on carrying out his mission. He sometimes overlooks the minutia of the moment as he focuses on the greater gain.

Pegged as “Western Fiction,” Escape From Hangtown truly is much more. Twists and turns toward solving the case gives the book a detective bent, while broad swaths of events bring to mind historical fiction. The behind-the-scenes manipulations of people grappling for power pushes us into a political expose; and the derring-do sparks it as a thriller. In a short stretch, it’s a romance novel. All together, Sweazy’s story brings together the best and worst in us on every level through the prism of post-Civil War United States.  

“This will be the last Berkley western paperback that I publish," says Sweazy. "After this book, Berkley is closing down its western publishing line.  There may or may not be more Josiah Wolfe and Lucas Fume novels in the future. Other publishers have expressed interest, but for now, I don't have any westerns on my writing schedule. I've had a great experience publishing with Berkley, and I look forward to keep writing and using the lessons I learned writing my westerns into the future.  This is hardly the end. I have a standalone mystery coming out in January (2016) and more Marjorie Trumaine books in the next couple of years. ...”  

NUVO has been reviewing Sweazy for a number of years, including Josiah Wolfe, Texas Rangers Series, The Devil’s Bones and See Also Murder, the first in the Marjorie Tremaine series.  

Sweazy is a Spur and Will Rogers Medallion Award winning author of the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series, including Vengeance at Sundown, The Gila Wars, The Coyote Tracker, The Cougar's Prey, The Badger's Revenge, The Scorpion Trail, and The Rattlesnake Season. He is also the author of the modern-day thriller The Devil's Bones, and has short stories appearing in numerous fiction anthologies and literary publications.

Sweazy was born in Anderson, Ind. and has spent most his life in the Hoosier state with the exception of time spent in the U.S. Air Force, and a four-year stint living in the state of Texas. He currently lives in Indiana with his wife Rose. He is a full-time writer and freelance indexer.

Berkley Books: Paperback $7.99; Kindle $5.99 More at: penguin.com and larrydsweazy.com Publication date June 2, 2015

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