cover image Scream of Eagles

Scream of Eagles

William W. Johnstone. Kensington Publishing Corporation, $19.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-57566-016-5

Twelve years--and any sense of realism--have gone up in smoke since Jamie MacCallister fought for the Confederacy in Talons of Eagles (1995). In this fourth volume of Johnstone's Eagles series, Jamie, patriarch of the hugely prolific clan that runs Valley, Colo., acts as little more than a Dirty Harry in buckskins, as likely to slaughter historical fact as he is to off his fellow humans. After his beloved wife is murdered by the Miles Nelson gang of cutthroats and robbers, Jamie vows to track down and kill every one of the cowardly outlaws. At 62, the frontiersman is as tough as a boiled owl, spry and still handy with his pistols, rifle and shotgun.Wasting no time, he wipes out the gang and, through a maze of poorly defined subplots, also pumps lead into bounty hunters, feuding families, crooked lawmen, hired assassins and several hapless smart alecks. Jamie even finds time to fight the Sioux with General Custer, miraculously surviving the Last Stand. This is a preposterous story, with little historical accuracy or value, featuring a shallow caricature of a western hero. Readers may note that Jamie never confronts Miles Nelson himself, no doubt saving the outlaw for a further bloodbath--though one wonders if it could possibly be as mindless as this. (Mar.)