I just finished reading Vengeance Valley by Richard S Wheeler and I certainly did enjoy it. I write gardening books (Allergy-free Gardening, Safe Sex in the Garden, etc. ) but I just wrote my own first western and I had been emailing different authors of westerns, asking them for advice on editors and agents and so on...and a good number of them suggested I read some of the books by Richard Wheeler, saying that he was considered by the other western writers to be one of the best new writers out there.
After reading this book, I would have to agree. This book was not the typical western at all, and had characters quite unlike any I'd seen in westerns before, but I liked them, they were interesting, smart, and different. Wheeler knows the West very well, and has an excellent sense of history that comes through clearly in his writing. I read a great many Louis L'Amour westerns, which I do love, and Wheeler writes another sort of western, but a satisfying one. There is real depth to his characters, feeling, they come alive on the page.
I plan to recommend this book to my friends who like a good western, and plan to buy some more of his other books and read them too. I highly recommend that you check out Vengeance Valley, and this author. If you've never read him, I expect you're in for a pleasant surprise.