North Star

Richard S. Wheeler, Author . Forge $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1663-9

Prolific writer Wheeler has penned more than 60 westerns. This, the 17th novel in his Skye's West series featuring venerable mountain man Barnaby Skye, finds Skye—after more than 50 years of trapping beaver, hunting bear, fighting Indians and living outdoors—in constant rheumatic pain, losing his eyesight and wishing to live out his days in a house with a roof, a floor and a real bed. It is 1870, the fur business is dead and white men are taking all the Indian lands. His two Indian wives, Victoria and Mary, have different feelings about these changes. Victoria dreads leaving her Indian family for a white man's life, and Mary longs to see her son, Dirk, whom Skye had sent away to school several years earlier. There is little gun smoke, but plenty of suspense as Skye and Victoria confront brutal Texas cattlemen and cheating Indian agents, and Mary travels to St. Louis to find her son. Skye may be old, but he is wise and crafty. Wheeler may be at the end of the Barnaby Skye stories, but this is a fine way for the old guy to go out. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 09/22/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
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