Spolier Free Summary: Butch and Sundance by Peter Cawdron is the first story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.
Manning is a bounty hunter on what seems to be a routine job until everyone else starts shooting at him. Just what does his bounty have or know that has guilds and assassins alike chasing him. The truth sets him on an adventure that would rival any legend of any age.
Character: Manning reminds me of Roger Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon. He has some depth for a story this short, and that’s always nice to see. He was a strong enough character to keep me turning the pages. He was sympathetic and proactive, and as long as you have characters like that, I’m going to at least enjoy your story.
Exposition: Most of this was hidden in the dialogue, and hidden fairly well. Short stories don’t have a lot of space, and in a story that short, exposition has to hit the chopping-room floor. Weber did this well.
World building: The unique aspect of this anthology is that it’s all from The Four Horsemen Universe created by Chris Kennedy. I have to admit there were a few things that would probably make more sense if I had read any of the books in the series, and this will be true of each story in the anthology I read. That said, there isn’t a ton of world building in this story. It relies on fans of the world to understand the details. While I noticed there were things in this particular story that I couldn’t catch up on, I didn’t miss any of the data. I got enough about things relevant to this story to know what I had to know.
Dialogue: There’s some cool banter in this book (which helps me with the whole Murtaugh feel (which is a compliment). Yes, there is some exposition here, but that’s no more than any book offers, especially for background information. The quick exchanges between characters though are pretty fun.
Description: I have to acknowledge it’s been a pretty good while between when I actually read this story and today. I can’t recall the detail. I know it didn’t frustrate or bore me (I’d have remembered that), so I wasn’t buried in useless detail to show off a world I’m not familiar with. I do feel like I would have like a bit more description, but it might just be my opinion on the anthology as a whole more than this individual story.
Overall: This was a fast-paced little story that was pretty solid. I can’t say it blew me away, but it was a nice read for someone wanting something quick (maybe a waiting in an airport or eating lunch). Manning is the strongest aspect, so I’m going to support stories with solid characters. It was a decent lead-off story for the anthology, but it didn’t really rise above the pack. If you like Lethal Weapon or cat-and-mouse action, you’ll like this story.
Thanks for reading,