PR Expert Nick Wale of Novel Ideas had the following take on Strong Convictions.
When it comes to Westerns, I would say I am an avid fan—rather than an expert or knowledge box. I must have read at least 1,000 Western novels, and name a Western movie, and you may strike lucky to find one I haven’t seen; but when it comes to Mr Murphy, Mr Wayne and Mr Scott, I have to say that I can boast seeing many performances from them worthy of the film history books. And who could possibly forget Ray Milland, Lee Marvin, Water Brennan, James Stewart or that dapper Englishman, Kenneth More, selling his guns in the old west?
So when it comes to a Western novel, I look for something that has me on the edge of my seat. Something that makes the prickly heat rise on the back of my neck, makes me squirm as my favourite gunfighter is faced down by Van Cleef. I look for Hoss, Ben and Adam caught in a strange town and faced with hanging through some unfortunate mistaken identity. I believe “Strong Convictions” is as close as a Western novel has gotten me to that zenith of edge-of-seat-squirming in a long time.
Here we have a man who has sworn off guns after shooting his wife by accident—a man who is sick of fighting and looking for peace. A man who sees his brother shot down in front of him by a gunfighter and then, only then, picks up a gun again. He is a fighter with a cause—and has there ever been a more dangerous foe than a pacifist who has cause to fight?
With great mastery, author G.P. Hutchinson paints a West that I can see, feel and smell. This is his second novel, and it feels like his thirtieth. He has a way of sentence structure that takes the words off the page and places them in your head. This is not a rambling, pointless book—this is a Western by a writer who knows how to write, and he knows instinctively. Writers like Hutchinson don’t need lessons or pats on the back. They need paper, ink and they need time. I believe in time we will see many books from G.P. Hutchinson, and those books will be better. A better book than “Strong Convictions” is a book I instantly want to read.
There are things I would say to him—I would say keep writing. I would say keep watching Westerns, reading about Westerns, and I would say keep creating new worlds to explore within the old west. Keep doing what you are doing, and soon you will find that every Western writer will be copying you.
I recommend this Western to every fan of Western books in the world. This is one of the books you won’t want to miss. The truth is—you probably haven’t because as I write this, the book is ranking high on Amazon, and many of you are probably reading this and sitting on the edge of your seat. I’m heading back to my chair for another reading. Catch you later.
Thank you, Nick, for such kind words. So glad you enjoyed Strong Convictions.