The ex-soldier Jonah Hook is on the warpath. His family torn from him by Mormon fanatics, Jonah continues his quest for vengeance and to rescue his two sons and wife. Thankfully he has rescued his daughter, Hattie, from the clutches of the sadistic Mormon Lieutenant Lemuel “Boothog” Wiser, and has set her on a train to a boarding school where she will be safe. Now Hook pursues the second part of his quest; heading south to find his two sons that are being held by the Comanche Indians that they were sold to. Jonah will not give up until he sees his family reunited again….
This second installment in the epic western “Jonah Hook Trilogy” by Terry C. Johnston is indeed a solid and riveting work. The reader feels utter sympathy and concern for the hard-bitten hero Jonah Hook as he continues in his heart-rending, vengeance-fueled quest to reunite his family. Hook is truly a hero and would be willing to storm the gates of hell itself to rescue those he loves. We follow Hook through a grueling journey into Texas into the lands of the scoundrel Comancheros where he meets an old Shoshone Indian named Two-Sleep that becomes his loyal partner throughout his quest, and he soon finds out that his two sons were taken from the Comancheros by the Comanche Indian Tribe. Jonah joins up with the legendary Texas Rangers to track down this tribe and rescue his sons, little knowing that they have been assimilated and raised perfectly into the tribe and are at home with them, as if they were their own kin.
Meanwhile, the cruel and fanatical Mormon Colonel Jubilee Usher, leader of the splinter Danite Cult still holds Hooks wife, and claims her as his own, abusing and tormenting her as his forces return to the New Zion in Utah, to oust the false prophet Brigham Young from the throne so Usher can take it himself.
While there is plenty of action and adventure in this second volume in the trilogy, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story of it and the characters, I had a somewhat harrowing experience with some of the scenes in the book. Namely, the explicit scenes where Jonah Hook’s boys are raped and sodomized by the Danites, and then sexually abused once more by the Comancheros that they are sold to before they are rescued and adopted by the Comanche Tribe. I honestly see no need for such scenes of brutality involving children. It could have been referenced that they were abused and raped, but to show the actual scenes of it and to describe it is monstrous. And this factor would have made me put down the book if the story wasn’t so riveting.
Also, Jonah Hook, as heroic as he is, is a bit of a sleazeball, bedding every whore he fancies on the way to rescue his sons and WIFE (<-Yes, remember Jonah, you have a wife out there?!!) to satisfy his “manly needs” that are going “neglected” since his wife has been captured. Whatever happened to the sacrifice of true love and forsaking all others? It is for these two reasons that I must dock this otherwise excellent novel a point.
I give “Winter Rain” by Terry C. Johnston a 4 out of 5.