Beecher Island

Written by Tim Champlin
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1868, hostilities between the Cheyenne Indians and the U.S. cavalry are heating up under the direction of the war chief Roman Nose. Forced to go to a reservation, certain tribes fight back. Matt Talbot is a scout for Lieutenant Beecher of the U.S. Cavalry. Trapped by thousands of Cheyenne, their small band of men retreats to a bush-covered sandbar located in the middle of a stream. Against desperate odds, Talbot steals off into the night and manages to make it back to civilization. As the story unfolds several years later, Talbot takes on a job as a newspaper reporter in Nevada. Eventually he meets a former friend and scout who survived the battle, which would later be named after Lieutenant Beecher. Up against vigilantes and gold smuggling, Talbot and his friend try to recover a cache of missing gold and become rich.

This is an entertaining western novel consisting of an Indian battle, a mine cave-in, vigilante justice, and a stolen gold shipment. Tim Champlin is a prolific Western novelist known for his unconventional but entertaining stories of the Old West. Character-driven with fine dialog, I highly recommend this novel to Western lovers.