Give-A-Damn Jones

Written by Bill Pronzini
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

Artemas Jones is a traveling typographer who works with local newspapers for a few weeks, then travels on to the next town. Around 1890 in Montana, there are few typesetters as fast as Jones. Jones finds a job opening in the town of Box Elder. When a recently released convict arrives in Box Elder and tries to prove his innocence, Jones finds himself in the middle of the controversy because he always seems to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, a fascinating story and an excellent Western tale. An interesting concept is the chapters are told from the viewpoint of seventeen different characters. The author accomplishes this task without confusing this reader. The author is better known for his crime fiction and, although a Western, this novel will not disappoint his fans. Tension builds until the final chapter, with Jones in the middle of it all.