Triggernometry by Stark Holborn #BookReview

Triggernometry is a brand-new novella from Nunslinger author Stark Holborn, mixing the grit of the west with a cast of mathematicians from across history, to create a truly unique and unforgettable western adventure.

“I hereby arrest the fugitive “Mad” Malago Browne for murder, arson, robbery and acts of pernicious arithmetic against the Capitol States. Also the fugitive Pierre “Polecat” de Fermat, for sundry of the same.”

In the Western States, it doesn’t pay to count your blessings.

Professor Malago Browne, once the most notorious mathematician in the west, has been trying to leave her outlaw past behind and lead a quiet life. But all of that changes when her former partner – the deadly and capricious Pierre de Fermat – shows up with a proposition of a lifetime.

One last job, one last ride: a heist big enough to escape the tyranny of the Capitol forever.

With a misfit crew of renegade topologists and rebel statisticians, Browne and Fermat prepare to take on the Capitol in the crime of the century. Little do they know the odds are stacked against them…

Title: Triggernometry | Author: Stark Holborn | Publisher: Rattleback Books | Pages: 62 | ASIN: B086JXRSZK | Publication date: 8th April 2020 | Source: Author

Are westerns crime fiction? They certainly tend to cover a lot of the same ground – violence, betrayal, retribution, redemption. Stark Holborn’s new novella has all of those, as well as a heist and a brace of famous mathematicians.
I can’t remember exactly how I first heard about Holborn, but I really enjoyed their first book ‘Nunslinger’, a series of 12 novellas that together tell the thrilling tale of a wayward Sister in the wild west. I say “their” quite deliberately. Stark Fairweather Holborn is the pen name of an enigmatic author who is giving nothing away about their identity (although there is at least one clue in the pages of ‘Triggernometry’). That’s why I’ve forgone the author pic I normally include above.
This new book has a similar western setting, but whereas ‘Nunslinger’ was played quite straight (albeit with a knowing eye and a tonne of flair), ‘Triggernometry’ is deliberately offbeat. Its heroine is Professor Malago Browne, a mathematician and outlaws she teams up with are similarly numerate. In fact the supporting cast features famous scholars from a range of time periods. The western world it is set in sees mathematicians as outlaws with arcane skills that aren’t to be trusted. Indeed, Browne users trigonometry to calculate the probable past of bullets to win the gun fights she finds herself in.
It’s a playful twist that doesn’t add a huge amount to the story, but it does give the book a charm that sets it apart from the competition. The real star of the show though, is Holborn’s grasp of dialogue and action. The characters chew their words in classic western style, and the bullets fly from six shooters and Winchester rifles with an energetic joy that fits the subject matter perfectly.
The result is a books that is gripping, funny and extremely entertaining. Even if you don’t think you like westerns, I suspect you’ll have a lot of fun with it.


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