Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Merrick" by Ben Boulden

My story “Merrick” is live and ready for consumption. It’s a 25-page action Western short story that I’m fond of, and one that I think most readers will enjoy. It is exclusive to Amazon Kindle; available to purchase for a measly $0.99, or, for the lucky readers with Kindle Unlimited, it can be borrowed for free.
If you read and enjoy “Merrick” please consider leaving a brief review at Amazon or Goodreads, or even better, tell your friends about it. Your enemies, too, if you have any.
Here is the description:
Merrick is hard, tough, and when he needs to be, mean as hell.
When Merrick is called in as a late-replacement for a payroll heist his first inclination is greed. His second is hesitation, since anyone who says a job will be easy is a liar, but this job has been planned by an old partner, Clarence Tilley, who has masterminded more than a few successful heists.
It’s a four man job with a payout worth $15,000 and Merrick’s share would keep him in whiskey and satin for a year. But it may also get him killed.
And if you've read this far, keep reading for an itty bitty preview. You can also get a preview at Amazon.

Sweat beaded on Merrick’s brow. 
Slow moving horses beat a tepid rhythm on the road above. A wagon squeaked, its wheels rumbling across dry clay and shale.
A man laughed. 
Another clicked his tongue at the laboring beasts before saying, “You should have seen it, me and Janie Frain as naked as God made us…”
Merrick drew a breath, held it. He listened to the sound his heart made. The Remington cool and steady in his right hand.
“…and in comes Janie’s—”
A crash and thud bounced on the road above as the armored wagon slammed into the four-foot rectangular trench dug for the purpose. The double tree hitch busted with an ear-shattering crack.
Merrick moved up the incline. His boots slippery on the shoulder’s pale rocks and paler dirt. The road’s flat surface a comfort beneath his Texas boots. The Remington raised to shoulder height, its barrel pointed at the rear of the wagon.


Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I like heist novels and MERRICK sounds promising, almost like the plot of a James Hadley Chase that I devoured in my late teens.

Tom said...

My Review: Merrick

Fans of the Parker heist novels of Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) will enjoy this old-west short story by Utah author Ben Boulden.

The character of Merrick is analogous to Stark's Parker - a man on a thievery crew planning and executing an elaborate heist. In this case, a mobile payroll theft. Of course, things go sideways and gunplay action ensues.

The old-west universe the author creates is as fascinating as the propulsive plot. Crime is regulated, overseen, and controlled by a religious sect who exercises a modicum of control over the turf. It's an old-west we haven't seen before in fiction and it re-writes the rules in the same way the John Wick movies did with contemporary organized crime.

This reasonably short story hopefully will be followed by novel-length heist tales starring Merrick. The Parker novels were great, and this old-west pastiche is a welcome addition to the anti-hero sub-genre.