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Thursday, 5 August 2010

Hammer of God

‘Hammer of God’ is Phil McCormac’s tenth western; this hard hitting and gritty story is a worthy addition to his list of credits.

The theme is one of a good man wronged, and takes us breathlessly through the highs and lows the hero, Deputy Joe Hammer, goes through to bring the bad guys to justice.

After a fierce shootout in which Hammer and a fellow deputy are outnumbered but still slaughter all the gang against the odds, he moves to Mexico and joins a monastery. Trouble continues to follow him, and after several adventures Hammer is sentenced to hang for a murder he didn’t commit. He is wounded in another violent shootout, but at least has the comfort of a hint of a relationship with a rancher’s daughter…

The story is recognisably McCormac, with its tight style and theme of a man fighting for justice against the odds. It has a likeable but realistically flawed hero who manages to extract himself from several seemingly helpless situations to eventually triumph and win the beautiful girl. The pace pulls you along and kept me reading to the end, and ‘Hammer of God’ is yet another worthy addition to my ‘McCormac collection’.

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