Wednesday, 11 July 2018


Martin Marais (writing as Martyn) is like me a Brit writing westerns. He tells me a favourite of his own books is his first, THE BOUNTY HUNTERS.

Michael ‘Tidy’ Callaghan isn’t your average bounty hunter. On arriving at Wellhead, Tidy’s well-trained nose picks up that there might be some trouble brewing in this one-horse town. His cousin-cum-ex-partner Scully arrives on the scene, disguised as a priest and clearly up to no good.

Then Tidy encounters Brett Maverick, casing the bank and alarms bells start ringing. 

With the clock ticking, Tidy only has a small window to discover what Scully’s up to and investigate the true identity of Maverick and what he’s planning before all hell breaks loose. Can Scully and Tidy forget their troubled past and join forces, or is Scully mixed up in the same business as Maverick?

Historical evidence for western bounty hunters is slight, (I’ve blogged before about prototype bounty hunters like TOM HORN and CHARLES SIRINGO) but they’re certainly popular in western fiction!
Naturally the plot, a few bounty hunters turning up in the same remote community, clearly in competition with each other, made me think of Sergio Leone’s ‘dollar’ trilogy, particularly FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE.

Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef in ‘For a Few Dollars More

That one of the bounty hunters is tracking down seven men brought to mind 7 MEN FROM NOW.

Lee Marvin and Randolph Scott in ‘Seven Men from Now

Brett Maverick, of course, was the character played by JAMES GARNER in the TV Western series ‘Maverick,’ (19557 – 1962) - when his name was spelled Bret – and its spin off ‘Bret Maverick’ (1981-82.) The show was atypical of TV Westerns of the time in being often comedic and tongue-in-cheek. Its varying leads were a collection of brothers and cousins who made a living as Old West gamblers, and, whilst likable, were not notably heroic. James Garner’s Bret Maverick has sometimes been described as the first TV anti-hero.

In 1994 these shows spawned a movie ‘Maverick’ where MEL GIBSON played the lead.


‘Martin Marais has such an easy and fluid writing style… captivating and entertaining story.’

‘Interesting characters and an ingenious plot keep you reading…a fresh take on the story of the bounty hunter.’

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