Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blind Trail

Blind Trail

by Mark Bannerman


Western. Narrated in the first person, the story starts a few months after Raoul Webster has been blinded in the line of duty. On his way to visit a doctor in San Francisco, his stage coach is attacked by bandits and his brother is killed. Vowing to take revenge, Raoul makes several forays into Apache country and then into Mexico. He also encounters Geronimo and stumbles into several real historical incidents along the way.

The writing is competent and there is a wealth of historical detail, but still the story didn't fully grab me. Part of the problem is that because the story takes place so soon after Raoul loses his sight, he isn't able to do much more than tag along as things happen around him. He doesn't really do much until the very last scene. The depiction of his blindness is pretty realistic, which is commendable, since not all authors can pull off a blind narrator believably. Also there was a moment with the doctor when it seemed like a miracle cure was going to happen, but it didn't, so no worries there. But it just wasn't that devvy to me--he's just too passive.

There's also a good bit of romance, but be warned this is a Western, not a romance novel. And the girl he falls for is also so passive as to be almost a non-entity. It's hard to care much about either of them.