The Gold of Vanishing Creek
Donald Douglas Dowling
The Gold of Vanishing Creek is a Western novel with heart pounding action in a mash-up of suspense, mystery, and romance that keep the plot smashing forward. Richly described Western settings, strong and interesting male and female characters, and a plot that moves make it a great read. The OK ranch, named for Owen Kincaid, the crusty and independent former mountain man, rests where the mountains drop down to the high plains. Vanishing Creek, in a series of falls and cascades, crashes into a pool behind the ranch house then runs off into the dry lands where it sinks into the thirsty earth. Owen and his son Royal believe they are the only two who know the secrets of Vanishing Creek. Royal is in the third year of his banishment from his hometown, Williwaw, when he receives a note from the beautiful and strong-willed Shannon Brewster. Shannon made Royal a promise as he was leaving Willowaw three years ago. Her note tells Royal that his family ranch is in the hands of a gun-slick gang. Royal Kincaid’s father is missing after apparently losing the ranch in a poker game while drunk. Besides the outlaws occupying the OK, Royal has to meet other threats. The beautiful, seductive, and deadly Deborah and a mysterious back shooting, woman-killer would both like to stretch Royal’s hide on the side of a barn. But Royal also has allies: Shannon Brewster has a wicked crush on him that places her in great danger. Royal’s “Aunt” Maggie, a life-long family friend, knows more that she probably should and doesn’t hesitate to help Royal in the battle ahead. And Royal’s brother Campbell and his sister Lorna return to Willowaw from the East where Lorna has been attending a finishing school. They arrive just as the main street becomes a bullet-laced battleground. The final scene holds a surprise twist for even the careful reader.