Recalling the Old West
Sep 21,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Oregon Author Recreates Early America with Action-Adventure Novel

DURKEE, Oregon - Travel to the Old West where gun-slinging deputies and crazed bandits battle for control of early America in Charlie MacNeil's novel, Complications: The Deputies Book 1 (now available through AuthorHouse).

Harvey Palmer wants to keep his life simple. Though he avoids responsibility and commitment, they find him when he stumbles onto a stagecoach robbery and foils it. His life gets more complicated when he shoots Verl Baxter in self-defense. Verl's brother, Howdy Baxter, is a notorious criminal and now he's after Harvey.

When Jesse Thompson, a special deputy for Judge Randolph Martin, is assigned to capture Howdy, he decides to get acquainted with Harvey. He knows that finding his brother's killer might bring Howdy out of his mountain stronghold and Jesse wants to be around when he comes looking for Harvey.

Harvey and Jesse are soon tangled in a bitter battle of outlaw against lawman. They encounter new outlaws, like Jesse's old enemy Grant Morgan who kidnaps him and drops him into a mineshaft. They also make new friends, including Shanghai Noonan, a half-Irish, half-Apache-and-Chinese manhunter who is looking for one of Howdy's men who killed his sister.

When Harvey runs into Lila Foster, the woman he loves but can't commit to, he realizes that settling down might not be as bad as he thought. He makes a deal to buy a horse ranch and plans to spend his life with Lila. First he must deal with Howdy. When Howdy and his men kidnap Lila and Kitty Moynahan, Jesse's girl, they enlist Shanghai to help them stop the evil bandits and save the girls.

MacNeil's novel is a thrilling journey through the American West in the late 1800s. Evoking the spirit of classic Western adventures, Complications is the perfect way to escape the rigors of daily stress and travel to a far-off time and place.

"It has all the elements of a good story: believable characters, suspenseful action, a setting readers can relate to and a strong ending that leads to other possible stories," MacNeil says. "(It's for) anyone who likes a good yarn, but especially those who believe that the West is not dead; it's just around the corner waiting for us to step into it."

Chuck Buchanan, who writes as Charlie MacNeil, is an eastern Oregon native. He lives on his family's ranch with his wife and two teenage cowboy sons. He enjoys cowboy action shooting and belongs to the Single Action Shooting Society. He also enjoys hunting, bicycling, Web design and amateur photography, particularly rodeo action shots and portraits. Complications is his first novel, but he plans to follow it up with sequels.