SLOCUM'S SILVER BURDEN
SLOCUM'S SILVER BURDEN
By Jake Logan
Jove, December 2014
Down on his luck in San Francisco, John Slocum takes a contract with the Central California Railroad. He’s given the difficult task of locating a stolen shipment of silver worth over ten thousand dollars, but he catches a break when he discovers that the company’s attractive secretary, Tamara, was an accomplice in the robbery. Too bad his employer would rather believe in the thief’s feminine wiles than in Slocum’s cold hard facts.
Fuming mad and out of work, Slocum starts looking to let off some steam. But when Tamara offers Slocum a new job – finding where the rest of the robbers stowed the loot – he has a hard time saying no to the seductive crook, or to a change of fortune. Still, Slocum knows he has to keep his cards close to the chest, or else he might end up six feet under…
The Slocum series first hit the shelves way back in 1975, the books being published by Playboy. It wasn’t until 1983, when the series was taken over by Berkley that a new book appeared monthly. Jake Logan, is of course a pseudonym behind which a great many different writers wrote over the years, many of whom are held in high acclaim in the western genre, which means there are more than a fistful of excellent reads to be found in the series.
Slocum’s Silver Burden is the last book in America’s longest running Western series but does it bring the series to an end in style?
I would think followers of the series will be more than pleased with this book for it does bring about a conclusion to John Slocum’s many years of riding the trail, sometimes on the side of the law and more often than not on the opposite side. Here Slocum tries to help the railroad but when he’s tossed aside he decides to help himself to whatever he can get as pay back. But this is where the real problems occur as the stolen silver is hidden in four different places and those responsible have a bad habit of dying before revealing where the silver is hidden.
There is also other complications, such as whether Tamara can be trusted. And what of the bounty hunters? Are they looking to claim the reward for returning the silver to its rightful owners or are they hoping to ride off into the sunset with the small fortune? Whichever trail they choose they aren’t going to let Slocum stand in the way, which means there’s plenty of action to be found in this story.
I’m not sure who has written this book but I will say it is well written, moves forward at pace, contains a number of surprises, and, as I’ve already mentioned, brings the series to a neat ending.