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Wrong Town Hardcover – 29 Feb 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd (29 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0709085117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0709085119
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 12.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,880,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew P. Mayo is a Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist and a Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Finalist. His novels include the Westerns WINTERS' WAR; WRONG TOWN; HOT LEAD, COLD HEART; DEAD MAN'S RANCH; and TUCKER'S RECKONING. He also contributes to other popular series of Western and adventure novels.

His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies including BAD AUSTEN; BEAT TO A PULP; A FISTFUL OF LEGENDS; HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD 2; Moonstone Books' SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE CROSSOVERS CASEBOOK; the DAW Books' anthologies STEAMPUNK'D and TIMESHARES, and many others.

His non-fiction books include COWBOYS, MOUNTAIN MEN & GRIZZLY BEARS; BOOTLEGGERS, LOBSTERMEN & LUMBERJACKS; SOURDOUGHS, CLAIM JUMPERS & DRY GULCHERS; and HAUNTED OLD WEST. He has also collaborated with with his wife, photographer Jennifer Smith-Mayo, on a series of books including MAINE ICONS: 50 Classic Symbols of the Pine Tree State; NEW HAMPSHIRE ICONS: 50 Classic Symbols of the Granite State; and VERMONT ICONS: 50 Classic Symbols of the Green Mountain State.

Matthew lives with his wife and dog on the coast of Maine. Stop by his Website for a chin-wag and a cup of mud at www.matthewmayo.com.

Product Description

About the Author

Matthew P. Mayo is a Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist and a Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Finalist. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and his novels include the Westerns Winters' War, Wrong Town, Hot Lead, Cold Heart, Dead Man's Ranch, and Tucker's Reckoning and he contributes to several popular series of Western and adventure novels. His non-fiction books include Cowboys, Mountain Men & Grizzly Bears; Bootleggers, Lobstermen & Lumberjacks; Sourdoughs, Claim Jumpers & Dry Gulchers; and Haunted Old West. Visit him at matthewmayo.com. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Format: Hardcover
Roamer's narrative starts with him facing certain death at the stinking jaws of a grizzly and hardly lets up from then on. He not only has had a bad day, it looks like the rest of his life is going from bad to worse. He survives the jaws of death only to be robbed of his few belongings by heartless bandits. The weather isn't too considerate, either. In pouring rain he trudges into the Rocky Mountain town of Tall Pine, where he hopes to grab a bite to eat, a decent mug of coffee and uninterrupted shut-eye. Simple pleasures - but even these are to be denied him as the sheriff arrests Roamer for murder. And this particular lawman has taken a strong dislike to Roamer, refusing him any kind of sustenance while in jail. The town idolises their sheriff and are a mite reluctant to wait for a judge. Without a doubt, Roamer has come to the wrong town.

First person narrative is not common in westerns, yet when handled well, it lends an added weight of authenticity and intimacy. Matthew Mayo succeeds on all levels. Within a very short space of time, the reader becomes a close friend of luckless Roamer; the man's attractions are a combination of his self-deprecating humour, his determination to survive whatever life throws at him, plus an innate decency.

Because the narrator is telling the story, the reader knows that the hero survives; which is no surprise, since in most stories the hero wins through anyway. Since threats to the narrator are not going to be fatal, the author has to involve the reader in more than the welfare of the hero. This means that other characters - often close to the hero - come under threat; if these people suffer, then so do the readers because they feel the narrator's pain of loss or hurt.
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By Raymond Foster on 22 Mar 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is one great book.
Roamer is an unusual hero. He's not exactly a good looking chap and when we meet him he's wrestling a bear. Having won that battle but trapped beneath the bear he's robbed and when he, finally, makes it to civilisation Roamer is arrested for murder.
The characters are well drawn and, as the story moves along, we see the frailty and the gullibility of people.
This is a must read book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Evocative Prose, Gritty Characters & Lots of Action 29 Dec 2010
By Jeremy LC Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Matthew P. Mayo has a keen eye for the absurd. His Westerns are steeped in authenticity and boiled in action, but it is Mayo's skewed vision of the world that lingers long after the final page. He shows us the mythic West with the sharp, clear eye of a realist looking through rippled glass.

Mayo is the author of the novels WINETRS" WAR, WRONG TOWN, and HOT LEAD, COLD HEART, and the editor of WHERE LEGENDS RIDE: NEW TALES OF THE OLD WEST. At his finest, Mayo captures the surreal and very human quality of everyday life in the 19th century west. His protagonists meet whatever comes their way with nonchalance; they struggle in a world of misperceptions and uncertain realities, come what may. Time and again they must sort out the mythic from the mundane, the weak from the strong, the bizarre from the necessary. Yet, even deep within the most tangled cases of mistaken identity and the darkest of back alley nights, Mayo is always in control of his craft.

Mayo writes evocative prose, gritty characters, and action-packed scenes. Themes, as he has mentioned in interviews, "of self-reliance, overcoming adversity, [and] the satisfaction felt when a tough job is well in hand" run smoothly beneath the characters and the action.

If you enjoy authors like Jack London, Mickey Spillane, Jim Thompson, Loren D. Estleman, Robert J. Randisi, James Reasoner, Larry D. Sweazy, Peter Brandvold, and Johnny D. Boggs, then you will find a kindred spirit in Matthew P. Mayo--a kindred spirit who is nonetheless very much an original voice in the landscape of Western literature.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Terrific Western! 15 April 2012
By Peter Brandvold, Western Writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Matt Mayo is a relative newcomer to the western genre, and he's kicking butt and taking names.

I loved ROAMER: WRONG TOWN, and can't wait for the next one in the series. This is fiction writing at it's best, and some of the best writing you'll find in the western field. If you're a fan of well-written westerns, you won't regret adding this one to your collection, and you'll have a damn good time doing it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A strong character-driven tale 19 Jan 2009
By Nik Morton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Roamer's narrative starts with him facing certain death at the stinking jaws of a grizzly and hardly lets up from then on. He not only has had a bad day, it looks like the rest of his life is going from bad to worse. He survives the jaws of death only to be robbed of his few belongings by heartless bandits. The weather isn't too considerate, either. In pouring rain he trudges into the Rocky Mountain town of Tall Pine, where he hopes to grab a bite to eat, a decent mug of coffee and uninterrupted shut-eye. Simple pleasures - but even these are to be denied him as the sheriff arrests Roamer for murder. And this particular lawman has taken a strong dislike to Roamer, refusing him any kind of sustenance while in jail. The town idolises their sheriff and are a mite reluctant to wait for a judge. Without a doubt, Roamer has come to the wrong town.

First person narrative is not common in westerns, yet when handled well, it lends an added weight of authenticity and intimacy. Matthew Mayo succeeds on all levels. Within a very short space of time, the reader becomes a close friend of luckless Roamer; the man's attractions are a combination of his self-deprecating humour, his determination to survive whatever life throws at him, plus an innate decency.

Because the narrator is telling the story, the reader knows that the hero survives; which is no surprise, since in most stories the hero wins through anyway. Since threats to the narrator are not going to be fatal, the author has to involve the reader in more than the welfare of the hero. This means that other characters - often close to the hero - come under threat; if these people suffer, then so do the readers because they feel the narrator's pain of loss or hurt. Roamer is a strong creation, and we feel his hunger, his despair and his anger at the injustices he witnesses in the wrong town. The town is also wrong in the sense that many of its citizens are not as civilised as they would like to think; an undercurrent of violence permeates the souls of many, so that the innocents suffer as well as the guilty.

It would be unfair to divulge more of the plot, but all the characters - whether the robbers, the major villain or the townspeople themselves - are drawn without resort to stereotype.

A strong character-driven tale, well told.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Rising Star 30 Mar 2012
By Larry D. Sweazy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Matthew P. Mayo is quickly becoming a rising star in the world of Western fiction, and WRONG TOWN, featuring Roamer, is sure to add to Mayo's well-deserved reputation. WRONG TOWN introduces a main character that is not your stereotypical gunslinger. Roamer is a break from tradition, all the while, honoring the traditional Western, a feat in itself. From the first person narrative, to the clean, crisp, prose, and Roamer himself, this book promises to upend the genre--in a good way. Genres live and die on the entrance of new voices, and if WRONG TOWN is any indication, the Western is alive and healthy. This novel has everything readers and fans have come to expect from Westerns, and more; heart-pounding action, gritty prose, and sentimental storytelling, all without being sappy, or offering up any episodes of navel-gazing. Mayo delivers on all accounts--and I for one, can't wait to read the next installment in Roamer's adventures.
Great central character, and outstanding series opener! 20 Dec 2014
By Nicholas Litchfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
A couple of years back, I read an exceptionally good short story by Matthew P. Mayo called “O Unholy Night.” It was a ghostly Christmas tale featuring Maple Jack and his buddy Roamer. I still think it ranks as one of the best things Mayo has written. I didn’t realize until much later that the character Roamer had previously appeared in Mayo’s second novel for the well-known UK publisher Robert Hale.

I was pleased to find I already had a copy of this book (the newer version, not the Robert Hale edition.) Like dozens of others, it had sat untouched on my digital bookshelf for way too long. Silly, really, when the book can be read in a matter of a few hours. It’s one of those edge of your seat ones that never seem to offer a good place to stop reading. The story revolves around the lead character, Roamer, accused of a murder he didn’t commit, but instead of fleeing and living as a wanted man he’s determined to prove his innocence. In contrast to his other novels, this tale is told in the first person. It also has one of the best narrative hooks you’re likely to read—Roamer wakes from sleep one morning to find a grizzly bear about to attack him. It’s an exciting scene, well researched, well written, and sets the tone for the rest of the novel.

This was a very entertaining novel. Of all Mayo’s characters, Roamer (who has the sort of face that turns stomachs) is his best hero and I look forward to reading his next adventure. (C’mon Mayo, write another Roamer tale!)
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