I’ve made no secret of my affection for Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon series of stories. Ever since I read Dillon and the Voice of Odin, I was hooked. If you’ve never heard the name Dillon before and are wondering just what the hell I’m talking about, I’ll give you some background information: Dillon is the titular character of a number of tales written by Derrick, beginning with Dillon and the Voice of Odin, continuing with Dillon and the Legend of the Golden Bell and the latest installment, Four Bullets For Dillon, features four short stories about the character, stories which are interweaved through the history laid out in the previous two full-length novels.
Dillon is a soldier of fortune. If you’re a fan of Doc Savage, Indiana Jones, Nick Fury, James Bond or any number of similar characters, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you haven’t read any of the Dillon stories. He’s an adventurer in the classic sense, a man of action armed with not only an impressive set of combat skills, but a great deal of intelligence and a cunning wit and sense of humor that brings a nice sense of fun to the stories. If you want to know more about the background of Dillon, Derrick’s made that easy for you by setting up a website that tells you everything you need to know about the character.
“Dillon and the Bad Ass Belt Buckle,” “Dead Beat in La Esca,” “Dillon and the Escape From Tosegio,” and “Dillon and the Judas Chalice” are the four tales that make up the book. I was fortunate enough to read “Dillon and the Bad Ass Belt Buckle” and “Dillon and the Judas Chalice” before, but re-reading them has been an absolute treat.
“Dillon and the Bad Ass Belt Buckle” remains one of my favorite Dillon stories. While on a mission to rescue an award-winning actress, Dillon and his ally, Eli Creed, come across a town run by Kudro Mayoka, the certified Bad Ass of Cheap Prayer — and his certification comes in the form of a belt buckle. Dillon has to challenge Kudro to a race in order to leave with the actress, but during the course, they run across the kidnappers.
“Dead Beat in La Esca” was co-written with Joel Jenkins and features a meeting between Dillon and Joel’s character Sly Gantlet of the Gantlet Brothers series (The Gantlet Brothers’ Greatest Hits and The Nuclear Suitcase). It’s a fun tale involving two very proud guys constantly trying to one-up each other and you could tell both Derrick and Joel must have had a ball writing it together.
“Dillon and the Escape From Tosegio” is interesting in that it began as a story for Frontier Publishing Presents #1, an attempt by Derrick and others associated with Frontier Publishing to put together a quarterly comic anthology. The comic is out of print now, but it’s great of Derrick to include a prose version of the story in this collection. If you’re wondering how Dillon ended up at the Goliath in Dillon and the Voice of Odin or why he’s got so much animosity towards fellow adventurer Awesome Times in Dillon and the Legend of the Golden Bell, you need to check out this tale.
And last but not least, “Dillon and the Judas Chalice.” It’s the longest tale in the book, taking up about 50% of the space (at least according to my Kindle). There are some absolutely thrilling action sequences, particularly the opening with a car chase scene through the streets of Denbrook. The story itself is interesting, with a secret society having melted down Judas Iscariot’s thirty pieces of silver into a chalice that’s been passed down through the centuries. It brings the owner whatever they desire, but with the curse that they must betray their loved ones to receive it.
If you’re asking whether or not you should read Four Bullets For Dillon, my answer is the same as it’s been for all other Dillon tales: abso-freaking-lutely. Derrick doesn’t waste any time with his prose — he’s got a snappy style, an ear for dialogue, an eye on action and he never makes the mistake of boring you. I loaded this book onto my Kindle last night and read it from cover to cover this morning without missing a beat.