Pacific Northwest Book Review
"The Bounty Huntress"
By John Riha
Publisher: RT3 Media
© 2017 Ashland, OR
Life on the Oregon frontier was no place for the gentle or faint-hearted. For Iris Greenlee, the daughter of a murdered game warden, a tough childhood marked by repeated injustice, prejudice and disappointment hardened her into a dauntless young woman ready to fight to protect herself and her family.
As a child, Greenlee had to stand up to bullies and found hunting and farming to be far more practical than playing with dolls or going to school. As soon as she was old enough, Greenlee tried her hand at bounty hunting, catching dangerous and wanted men who hid from the law in Southern Oregon’s deep woods. She got no sympathy for being a woman and usually had to work twice as hard to prove herself in a man’s world.
Ashland, Oregon writer John Riha, author of “Rookies in the Wild,” took a brave step into historical fiction with “The Bounty Huntress,” a story he said was inspired by real events. Riha infused “The Bounty Huntress” with colorful descriptions of frontier life including hunting wild game, panning for gold, distilling illegal moonshine and dealing with troublesome neighbors who want to be left alone to do as they please but somehow can’t resist interfering with other people’s business.
Greenlee’s life was filled with unexpected setbacks and obstacles including fires, floods and serious injuries not easily remedied by frontier medicine. Sometimes the only person she could rely on was herself and she either had to find a way to make do or simply do without. Many frontier people believed that the law was subject to interpretation and justice tended to favor those with the quickest draw.
With so much injustice in the world, this reviewer hoped there would be more justice served by the end of the book and I was disappointed by an ending that didn’t deliver the promised bounty of revenge. Greenlee’s hard childhood left her with an emotional handicap that made romantic love seem like an impossible, impractical dream. Perhaps this is a good trait for a bounty huntress, but no number of scumbag criminals brought to justice can fix a broken heart or repair the scars on her soul.
Reviewed by John Morgan, 2/23/2018