Lonesome 3: The Ties Of Blood

By Yves SwolfsWestern gunman stands his ground holding two pistols
Publisher: Cinebook
ISBN: 9781800440814

I’ve been really enjoying getting my teeth into this series. On the face of it, it’s a dyed-in-the-wool western, with all the gunslinging, treachery and action you’d expect. Somehow, though, there’s a twist of the supernatural in it too, and yet it’s so underplayed that it doesn’t derail the ambiance.

And there is indeed a palpable ambiance here, created by Yves Swolf’s dynamic visual storytelling coupled with Julie Swolf’s colouring. It convincingly transports you to a moment in history where you can witness the events firsthand, often in all their destructive and chaotic glory. Two scenarios in particular stand out in this book. The arrival of police on a large estate and the subsequent gun battle, and, a short time later, the pursuit of the big bad onto the docks. This results in a bigger bloodbath, but it’s notable for how it’s all laid out. Yves Swolfs is meticulous in his page layouts, allowing you to follow the action and where the characters are easily. Constructing such a sense of place in a story isn’t easy, but, done well, like here, you can see the potential consequences of actions before they play out, bringing a strong element of suspense to the proceedings.

These more overt and dramatic set pieces contrast nicely with the character development in the quieter moments. Family connections – or, at least, potential connections – are revealed, heightening the mystery and the stakes.

Yves Swolfs has a long career as a creator, but this is, to my knowledge, all you can currently read of his in English. I hope this means we’ll be seeing plenty more in the future.

And if you liked that: Book 4’s coming soon

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