Fiction - Western
256 Pages
Reviewed on 04/10/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dave McGowan was born in Collingwood, Ont. and has lived in Owen Sound, Caledon, Heathcote, (in BC) Ft. St. John, Vancouver, (back to Ont.) Jarvis, Oshawa, Windsor, (Alb.) Calgary, Ft. Saskatchewan, (BC) Kelowna and Dawson Creek.
He has been a cowboy, forest firefighter, heavy equipment operator, farmhand, gardener, road musician and businessman. He lives with his wife, Karen, not far from some of the children and grand children in Northern British Columbia. One son and his family live in Calgary and a daughter and her family live on Vancouver Island. For the past 30 plus years he has remained in the Peace River Country where he works as a commercial driver to suppor his writing habit.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

“Partners” by Dave McGowan transported me back to the year 1866. Unseen, I journeyed alongside Thomas Brash in his attempt to escape memories. He left behind his hundred acre farm, a teaching position, everything he once thought was important. After burying his wife and two children he just wanted to escape all that was familiar. All Tom wanted was to be alone. Along his tiresome journey he witnessed the cruel acts of two men and the bravery of a boy. Without thinking Tom stepped in to assist the boy, Frank Clement. Frank declared he would travel with Tom to protect him. At first it irritated Tom but he knew Frank was a better shot than he was and he had more “wilderness smarts.” Along their journey the pair met up with a group of Blackfoot hunters and were given the names Voice From Above and Quick Shot. After the buffalo hunt they were invited to join the tribe for a feast. Before the celebration was over there was trouble that led to a fight. Clyde and Sam joined Tom and Frank on their journey. What began as one man wanting to be alone turned to a strong friendship.

“Partners” is quite an adventure. Dave McGowan deftly combines action, adventure, history and a hint of romance to create a fascinating western. The plot moves along at a steady pace. I was particularly fond of Frank. He was a rather adorable boy: stubborn, strong willed, impulsive and compassionate, living on his own after losing his parents. Thomas was interesting: he was intelligent, compassionate and had a few surprises for Frank. Clyde and Sam are secondary characters but they add much to the plot. I was not fond of Alex; his reaction to Frank seemed cold. Dave McGowan appears to be knowledgeable concerning the customs of the Blackfoot Indians. Dave McGowan is a talented author. Fans of westerns need to make note of his name for they will want to follow all of his works.

Alice DiNizo

In early June of 1866, thirty-five year old Tom Brash has abandoned both a teaching career and one hundred acres of farmland that he owned free and clear in Kingston, Western Canada. After a successful military career, he married and fathered two sons, but his wife and sons died of cholera. Heartbroken, Tom wants to be alone and heads to the wilds of western Canada and the Montana territory of the United States. Intelligent and educated, Tom rides with two pack horses behind him, his copied Palliser maps and information on the country where he is headed. An old trapper tells him that his maps are wrong but that on their far eastern section are shown swamps where his destination, "Old Woman Lake" is located. Tom arrives at "Old Woman Lake", but he hears screams and sees a campsite near the lake with the body of a dead Native American lying nearby. Two white man named Seth and Hank are about to attack the Native American's woman when they are stopped by a young man, illiterate, back woodsy, with a rifle and he means business. Tom and the young man, Frank Clement, bond, leave the Native American couple and their goods behind out of respect. The two of them head west with Tom's pack horses as Hank and Seth will be tracking them. Are Tom and Frank on their way to becoming partners?

"Partners" by David McGowan is a readable, enjoyable Western about two men. Tom Brash and Frank Clement, distanced by upbringing and age, become good friends and partners in adventure as they fight and think their way out of situation after situation in the post Civil War west. The western territories of the United States and Canada in 1866 and 1867 are a good setting for Tom and Frank as they encounter and become friends with Blackfoot Indians who help them on their way. Good dialogue and short, succinct chapters make "Partner" a delightful read for history and western fans alike. The author's comments at the story's conclusion, that tell of actual people from that era, is enlightening for he tells of actual events that are woven into "Partners", a story no one should skip!