In the West, there are worse things to fear than bandits and outlaws.
Demons. Monsters. Witches. James Crowley’s sacred duty as a Black Badge is to hunt them down and send them packing, banish them from the mortal realm for good.
He didn’t choose this life. No. He didn’t choose life at all.
Shot dead in a gunfight many years ago, now he’s stuck in purgatory, serving the whims of the White Throne to avoid falling to Hell. Not quite undead, though not alive either, the best he can hope for is to work off his penance and fade away.
This time, the White Throne has sent him to investigate a strange bank robbery in Lonely Hill. An outlaw with the ability to conjure ice has frozen and shattered open the bank vault and is now on a spree, robbing the region for all it’s worth.
In his quest to track down the ice-wielder and suss out which demon is behind granting a mortal such power, Crowley finds himself face-to-face with hellish beasts, shapeshifters, and, worse…temptation. But the truth behind the attacks is worse than he ever imagined.…
Point of view:
1st person. Entirely from Crowley’s perspective.
This is book 1 in the Black Badge series by Rhett C Bruno and Jaime Castle. There’s a prequel, Dead Acre (book .5), that isn’t necessary but I think it helps with understanding Crowley a little better.
James Crowley is a Hand of God, Black Badge, an undead “Sheriff” of sorts. Sent on missions with little to no information and expected to figure out what’s wrong and how he can help. While it a little confusing, to me that’s what makes it fun. The listener is trying to figure out what’s going on along with Crowley.
This time he’s in Revelation Springs trying to track down robbers who he quickly learns are supernaturals. Lots of twists, turns, and distracting side quests. He gets help (and hindrance) from local folks. Including a someone from his past.
I enjoy the mix of historical/Western with paranormal. Plus, Crowley’s sense of humor and running commentary bring levity to some fairly violent events.
Bruno & Castle wrap it up nicely… but then tease in the epilogue that Crowley has an unexpected nemesis in the next book. Looking forward to Vein Pursuits.
Roger Clark is a terrific match for the writing and Crowley specifically. He has the perfect gruff voice and emphasizes the emotions well. So easy to listen to him and get lost in the story.
About the authors:
Rhett C Bruno is the USA Today and Washington Post Bestselling & Nebula Award Nominated Author of ‘The Circuit Saga’, ‘Children of Titan Series’, ‘Buried Goddess Saga’, ‘Vicarious’, ‘The Roach’, and ‘The Luna Missile Crisis’ (Audible Originals); among other works.
He has been writing since before he can remember, scribbling down what he thought were epic stories when he was young to show to his friends and family. He is currently a full-time author and publisher living in Delaware with his wife, daughter, and dog Raven.
You can connect with Rhett C. Bruno here:
Jaime Castle hails from the great nation of Texas where he lives with his wife and two children and enjoys anything creative. A self-proclaimed comic book nerd and artist, he spends what little free time he can muster with his art tablet.
You can connect with Jaime Castle here:
About the narrator:
You can connect with Roger Clark here:
My Favorite Quotes
“People aren’t afraid of being alone in the dark. They’re afraid of not being alone in the dark.”
“Ex-outlaw with enough blood on his hands to make a priest blanch, sure. But one thing I am that even the White Throne can’t take away is a gentleman.”
“Y-y-you . . . was dead.” “I got better.”