This was my favorite story of the series. This and ‘The Kid’ kept me guessing most of the way through. Since the primary character is mute, this story did much more with the look and feel of the Deadlands setting. I think one of the reasons I liked this story so much is because it utilized the art better than the other stories. While the other stories have great art, you noticed it more in this book.
The hero is a Texas Ranger named Hoyt Cooper who rides around claiming to be a bounty hunter. Credence is added to this claim due to the dead body draped over his horse. Savages cut Hoyt's tongue out so now he communicates with a magic black board hung around his neck. What he thinks, you see on the blackboard.
The intro of Hoyt riding into the town of Dandelion Flats in the rain is wonderful and sets the mood for the rest of the story. Evil infests the town and Hoyt is there to clean it out - one town, one Ranger. But Ranger Cooper has a little help.
One of the reasons I love this story is that it concentrates on the story and not the setting. I love Deadlands but I love well told stories more. It would make a fine Twilight Zone episode being short, to the point, and horrific all at the same time.
If you only read one book in this series, make it Death Was Silent.
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