Get Out of Town (A Sheriff Aaron Mackey Western)

Written by Terrence McCauley
Review by G. J. Berger

On a late evening in the early spring of 1889, Montana Territory US Marshal Aaron Mackey catches up with Henry Hancock’s gang. At their night camp, the five outlaws are celebrating a seemingly clean getaway from a bank robbery and murders. Mackey carries a warrant to bring them in dead or alive. He yells at them to give up peaceably. They refuse, and he kills all five. Early the next morning, Mackey delivers the gang leader’s body and horse to the town of Hancock, where generations of Hancock family clans live.

Before being appointed as the territory’s new federal marshal, Mackey had been the sheriff of his hometown, Dover Station. The town is booming with plans for a new lumber mill and a railroad station—along with vice trades, shady land deals, and graft. After arriving back home, Mackey learns of more carnage. Three dead women sit propped up in a mysterious house on the edge of town, and a stranger tries to knife Mackey’s deputy. The recently elected mayor of Dover Station, James Grant, takes too keen an interest in both the Hancock outlaws and the dead women. Mackey soon realizes that he must outwit both the many Hancock family members out to avenge Henry’s death and the clever and corrupt town mayor.

This third Aaron Mackey novel is a page-turner from start to finish. McCauley knows the genre, the terrain, the horses, and weapons. His interesting secondary characters seamlessly fit into the main storylines. Quieter passages of human interactions nicely counterbalance the hot action scenes. Get Out of Town deserves a sequel, and, as a bonus, two chapters of the next Aaron Mackey novel are appended at the end.