Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Over on the Dry Side by Louis L'Amour
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne, Oliver Wyman, Jason Culp
Series: Talon and Chantry #7
Published by Random House Audio on October 13, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction
Length: 7 hours
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The abandoned cabin seemed like a good place to settle down. . .except for the dead man in the front yard. But Doby Kernohan and his father traveled a long way seeking a new start, and they were in no position to be choosy. Unfortunately, the mysterious man's violent end was an omen of darker events to come, for a cycle of violence that had begun long ago was about to reach an explosive conclusion. Caught in a tangle of murder, greed, and blood vengeance, the Kernohans have no choice but to get involved. And when a mysterious beauty from deep in the surrounding hills and a deadly stranger named Owen Chantry arrive, what had at first seemed like good fortune suddenly becomes a terrifying fight for life itself.
LOUID L'AMOUR'S LOST TREASURES IS A PROJECT CREATED TO RELEASE SOME OF THE AUTHOR'S MORE UNCONVENTIONAL MANUSCRIPTS FROM THE FAMILY ARCHIVES.
A dead body, an empty cabin, a mysterious girl, a lone rider, and a gang after a treasure make for a very exciting western adventure. I was looking forward to a tale told alternating between a sixteen year old boy with lots of grit and a hard man with cold gray eyes from two talented narrators splitting the audio work.
Doby Kernohan and his pa find a murdered man and a deserted cabin. They are tired of drifting so settle in to work the land. Doby worries there is trouble coming and he isn’t wrong when a savvy man rides in and claims the man is his murdered brother, word is carried that the dead man knew the source of a treasure, and there is a beautiful girl who seems tied-in to the Mowatt outfit driving people away so they can get to the treasure.
Meanwhile, Owen Chantry knows his brother and the treasure isn’t some hoard of gold and gems, but he also knows the lure of treasure so is not surprised when the greedy Mowatts and their hired gunfighters won’t be persuaded to clear out and leave the Kernohans alone. A confrontation is coming and he has to get that girl away from the worst of that group and keep Doby and his pa safe even while he determines to stop drifting and plant roots on Clive’s land and that cabin up high in the lovely, but lonely forest.
Over on the Dry Side is a nice blend of characterization, mystery, historical background, and western action. It was exciting to listen to, but it also felt choppy with the blend of Doby and Owen’s stories in one book since the tension piece between the two that was building never got addressed and just petered out at the end. To be fair, maybe the big fight at the end gave Doby perspective so he could stop resenting Owen for his prowess and for getting the attentions of a certain lady. Owen could wax long on philosophical ideas and their shared Irish heritage and history which could slow the pace down a bit. But, I still enjoyed it because Owen was that fascinating contradiction of educated, polished, but also wild and raw. One moment he’s teaching Doby and the next he’s in a gun battle. There is the mystery about Clive’s treasure and a hint of romance to round it all out.
This was a Lost Treasures edition so it also included an explanation from Beau L’Amour about the story and where it fit in to his dad’s series on the Chantry family. It also included a partial, never-finished prequel story about Owen Chantry that shares his background and the beginning of an adventure. I wish Louis had finished that one.
All in all, it was a good western adventure with the treasure hunting twist. Those who enjoy frontier stories or western shoot ‘em ups should give it a go.
Kirby Heyborne does fabulous as an uneducated, but wise in the ways of hard work and frontier living young man and Oliver Wyman matched him as Owen and his perspective. I enjoyed both their sides of the story and how they voiced the other characters and caught the tone and rhythm of the story. Jason Culp read the extras.
Listen to a clip:
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