Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain

Fiction - Western
330 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dave Matthes was born and raised in Swedesboro, New Jersey at the tail end of the summer of 1986. He has attended various colleges for computer engineering, automotive science and criminal justice-like degrees. During the day, he works as a service technician and system installer for the restaurant industry.

Matthes has been writing for more than twenty-five years. He is a writer of poetry and prose and is the author of more than twenty books of varying genres and styles but is most known for his inaugural literary and autobiographical tome "The Slut Always Rides Shotgun", multiple collections of poetry, and "The Mire Man Trilogy".

Dave presently lives in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania with his wife Sarah, and their cat Hank.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Debjani Ghosh for Readers' Favorite

Rancid Mahoney works for Gunther Ostrander, Head Prospector of New Canterton, a mining settlement in what was once, a long time ago before civilization ended, “the heart of American Northwest”. Mahoney’s task is to find the Blackheart Mountain which is the source of “Blackvein”, a miracle mineral rumored to cure even grievous injuries to the human body. Mahoney has failed to discover it so far. Until now. Before he sets out on yet another expedition, Ostrander asks Mahoney for a favor: hand over the prisoner Til Drange to the settlement of Vermouth so that Mayor Kenroy can punish Drange for killing his brother. Along the way, they encounter scouts of the Tuskatawa tribe who believe it is now time for them to take back the land of their native ancestors. Add Mancino Rolandraz, the leader of the savage Crimson Collars gang, who wants Drange dead at any cost to the mix, and Mahoney has a powder keg in his hand. He soon realizes it is going to blow up no matter which side he takes. What he must decide is which side to fight for to make it worthwhile. Read Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain by Dave Matthes to find out.

Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain starts on a gory note, showing Mahoney fending for himself in an unforgiving landscape. The world that Mahoney inhabits is a bleak, god-forsaken place with few pockets of civilization left. Matthes’ raw writing and poetic prose not only brings out the bleakness of this world brilliantly but also effectively conveys the inner monologue of a loner like Mahoney. At one point, Matthes describes the bond between Mahoney and his horse so sweetly, you cannot help but believe he is capable of some good, despite the man himself denying so. The grittiness of the language is nicely offset by the dynamics between the multi-layered, complex characters. Set in a post-apocalyptic world in the far future, the novel brims with action. The illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are beautiful. No matter the stakes, Mahoney always comes out the winner, albeit a thoroughly battered one in some cases. The menacing plot builds to a high-octane climax, and the bittersweet ending provides a satisfying denouement. I recommend this book to fans of post-apocalypse, action, and adventure.

K.C. Finn

Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain is a work of fiction in the western, adventure and action sub-genres, and was penned by author Dave Matthes. The opening novel to The Two Revolvers Saga, the work is written for adult audiences and does contain some scenes of violence appropriate to war and the conflict of the time period, plus the use of explicit language. In this intricately plotted and enjoyable western, we find ourselves following the exploits of Rancid Mahoney, who follows the orders of powerful prospector Gunther Ostrander. Between scouring the land for the fabled Blackheart Mountain and escorting a prisoner with a price on his head, Mahoney soon discovers that he stands on the precipice of a war, and will have to choose a side to fight on.

Author Dave Matthes has crafted a western that perfectly captures the traditional atmosphere of the genre, but is also suitably complex and involved for the modern reader to enjoy in greater depth. One of the things which I really enjoyed was the web of intricacies and the many different parties with their own agendas, all of which clash around Mahoney’s life and cause him no end of strife as the plot thickens. The dialogue too was a particular high point for me, as it reminds one always of the western setting, the rough characters, and the depth and diversity of the characters which are presented. Overall, I would certainly recommend Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain for fans of the western genre looking for an accomplished work.

Gobi Jane

Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain is the first book in the Two Revolvers Saga by Dave Matthes. It follows Rancid Mahoney who is tasked to locate Blackheart Mountain. His boss, Gunther Ostrander, has never given up on his quest to find the “Blackvein,” a drink that quickly heals the body and that might contain the secret to immortality. After many failed missions in the past, Mahoney is on a mission again, but this one has many surprises and challenges. The first problem is the prisoner that he must escort and who turns out to be wanted by a gang seeking justice. The gang wants the head of the prisoner. Meanwhile, the Tuskatawa Tribe wants to take back the land they believe to be rightfully theirs. Can Mahoney navigate through the conflicts and succeed in his mission this time?

Dave Matthes’ Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain is a captivating story with great characters. Mahoney is someone that I liked and the author has done a great job in giving flesh to this character. His boss is a man obsessed with Blackheart Mountain and its secrets, so when he sends Mahoney on his next mission, the reader is keen to find out if Mahoney can succeed. There is so much at stake here; a primary mission that poses a lot of problems, a tribe that is revolutionary, and a landscape that is fraught with danger. The setting itself is like a character in the story, a land with a life and an impact in the story that heightens the conflict. I loved the prose and the strong narrative voice. The scenes are focused and the plot points very strong. This is a novel for readers who enjoy adventure and mystery; it is suspenseful and filled with memorable characters.

Rabia Tanveer

Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain is the first book in The Two Revolvers Saga by Dave Matthes. When Rancid Mahoney took the job of finding Blackheart Mountain, he was prepared to search long and hard. After two decades of failing at the job, he was about to embark on another attempt when his employer asked him to do something else before he went back to the search. He must take Til Drange to face judgment for the crimes he committed. It was supposed to be a straightforward job, but it turned out to be none of that. Til Drange had a dangerous man after him who wanted him dead and anyone who got in the way would be killed as well. To make matters worse, a war might break out before it can be stopped. With Mahoney stuck in the middle of it all, was there even a chance for him to stay out of it?

Fast-paced and intense; these were the first two words that came to my mind when I started reading Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain. Mahoney had my attention the moment he was introduced. He had the spunk and sass to grab my attention and hold it until the end. The development of the plot reflected incredibly well with Mahoney’s development. The relationship between Mahoney and Drange was tense, but they created a synergy that worked for them and benefited both. Dave Matthes did a good job of maintaining the flow, hyping up the main plot while also having the subplots support it. However, this was something I was expecting from Dave Matthes and he did not disappoint. This action-packed journey is a must-read!