Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: Riders of the Barren Plains by I. J. Parnham

When it comes to westerns I. J. Parnham should be at the top of everyone’s reading list. He’s not only prolific but he’s a damn good writer. Riders of the Barren Plains is one of his more recent books for Robert Hale’s Black Horse Western series and it’s a fine entertainment. Jeff Steed is looking for employment but he gets into trouble when Blake Kelly’s gang robs the bank. Having been a reluctant watchman for the robbery, Steed finds himself drawn into riding with the posse out to Barren Plains. His dream of finding a steady job is now complicated by his involvement in two separate factions, either of which might get him killed or land him in jail.

Riders of the Barren Plains is a tightly plotted and fast paced book. Steed is a likeable character and Parnham builds sympathy for his plight from the start. The action and suspense are plentiful and interested readers are guaranteed a page-turning western that’s well worth your time. Parnham is well-versed in western lore and legend. His writing is concise, literate and engaging. The action scenes are particularly well done. The entire story comes across as something he clearly put a lot of effort into, and fans of traditional westerns won’t be disappointed. In many ways it’s typical of the Black Horse Western brand, which in my highly biased opinion is a good thing.

If you haven’t read a Black Horse Western then Ian Parnham’s books are a great place to start. Ian has published over twenty-five westerns for Robert hale Publishers and several more for the Avalon Western Series.

You can order Ian’s books direct on his blog by clicking HERE.

To learn more about Black Horse Westerns click HERE!

See you along the dusty trail!


  1. Thank you very much for your kind review, Tom.

  2. My pleasure pardner! Have a great day!


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