CROSS THE RED CREEK
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.