~THE SIX-GUN JUSTICE PODCAST~

CELEBRATING THE BLAZING SIX-GUN ACTION OF THE WESTERN GENRE

IN BOOKS, MOVIES, TV, AND ANY OTHER MEDIA AT HOME ON THE RANGE...

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

WESTERN NOVELS—THREE CROSS

WESTERN NOVELS
THREE CROSS 
RAY HOGAN 
REVIEWED BY 
TIM DEFOREST 
Part of Hogan's Shawn Starbuck series, in which Shawn is searching the West for his long-lost brother. 

In this one, Shawn is running low on funds, so he takes a job as foreman at Three Cross ranch before continuing the search for his brother. 

But Three Cross is in trouble. Fires have been set, cattle has been shot and many of the hands have quit. So Shawn also takes on the job of finding out who is responisble for this trouble. 

There seems to be no reason for it. Rustlers, for instance, would steal cattle and not kill them. In order to properly do his job as foreman, Shawn has to solve a mystery. 

It's a pretty good mystery, though most attentive readers will realize who the villain is and even make a good guess as to the reason behind it all. But the overall plot is strong. 

Shawn is a capable and likeable protagonist who carries the story along nicely. Hogan is able to give real emotion to several character deaths. 

He also includes a number of excellent action scenes. These include an attempted stagecoach robbery that opens the book; Shawn stalking a pair of bushwackers through the woods; an attempt to head off stampeding cattle before they run off a cliff; and Shawn's very tense final confrontation with the bad guys.

Monday, October 3, 2022

SIX-GUN JUSTICE PODCAST EPISODE #207—STEVE HOLLAND: COWBOY

SIX-GUN JUSTICE PODCAST
EPISODE #207
STEVE HOLLAND: COWBOY
WITH GUEST MICHAEL STRADFORD
Boy, howdy, so many of those great vintage Western paperback we'd all run an Apache gauntlet to own and read had one thing in common—the likeness of action model Steve Holland on the covers...

Today, Six-Gun Justice Podcast, host Paul Bishop is joined by special guest Michael Stradford author of Steve Holland: Cowboy, a just released compendium featuring Steve Holland's influence on our conception of the heroic cowboy...

Available now on all major podcast streaming platforms or by clicking on the player below...

Monday, September 26, 2022

WESTERN NOVELS—CROSS THE RED CREEK

WESTERN NOVELS
CROSS THE RED CREEK
HARRY WHITTINGTON
REVIEWED BY
TIM DEFOREST
Harry Whittington is known for writing brutal, engrossing hard-boiled crime fiction. So it's no surprise that his Westerns are also brutal, engrossing and hard-boiled. 

A rancher named Jim Gilmore has a miserably unhappy wife and we meet him while he's riding into new territory, looking to find new land and give himself and his wife a fresh start. But a posse from the nearby town finds him and mistakes him for a bank robber. The charge doesn't stick, but the most of the townspeople still think he's guilty. 

But Jim is sick of running from trouble, so he buys some land and begins building a home. He brings his wife to town, but she remains miserably unhappy. Soon, Jim is framed for a payroll robbery and also gets involved in looking into a year-old murder. 

Violence ensues, with sudden and unexpected character deaths adding to the sense of desperation that drips from Whittington's straightforward but very sharp prose. Everything leads up to a tense and unique showdown with the villain.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

WESTERN NOVELS—COLORADO CITY KILL

WESTERN NOVELS
COLORADO CITY KILL
THE GUNS OF LEGENDE #5
BRODY WEATHERFORD
REVIEWED BY
TIM DEFOREST
After one book in the series in which they did not appear, Frank Landry and Emily O'Conner return as the primary agents of Alistair Legende to complete the Society's latest mission.  I've come to think of the Guns of Legende series as a sort-of western Mission Impossible, with agents assigned to missions as their particular skills dictated. So Frank and Emily are the Martin Landau and Barbara Bain of the series, appearing on a fairly regular basis.

This time out, the plot is driven by a series of con jobs. The villain, Tate Holbrook, is running a scam on Colorado City, taking money on the false promise to provide the city with fresh water. When he commits a murder to protect himself, Legende sends Frank and Emily (along with another agent named Tomcat Meyer) to bring Holbrook to justice. This involves the good guys running a con of their own, designed to get Holbrook away from his ever-present bodyguards.

It's a wonderfully constructed plot. Plans go awry, forcing Frank and Emily to improvise a new plan while being held at gunpoint. A half-dozen outlaw brothers show up, looking for revenge on Frank and Tomcat over another matter entirely, throwing yet another monkey wrench into their plans. And it will turn out that there might be other people around running cons of their own.

There are a number of exciting action scenes, but the story's fast pace is driven largely by the efforts of different characters to outsmart each other. It's a Western AND a multi-faceted con artist tale. And it even sneaks in a look at the differences between justice and revenge. I loved it.