MAD MORGAN'S HOARD
Mad Morgan's Hoard by Philip Ketchum quite literally starts with a bang, as someone bushwacks the protagonist Brad Collier. Collier gets the drop on the bushwacker, but finds himself drawn into a bizarre and dangerous situation. There is, supposedly, $50,000 in gold (the proceeds of a bank robbery) hidden nearby. A cantankerous old man known as Mad Morgan is said to know where the gold is. Brad soon finds himself an unwilling pawn as several local factions of bad guys try to find the gold.
But Brad knows how to take care of himself and is able to think on his feet. He himself does not object to finding the gold, though he plans to return it to the bank for the reward.
But where is the gold? In fact, does the gold actually exist? Does Mad Morgan (or his pretty granddaughter) really know where it is? As Brad dodges bullets, these questions about the gold add quite a lot to the overall tension.
The end result of all this is a fast-moving story that often takes off in unexpected direcations. Ketchum's ability to create realistic characters who often share very human moments with each other is on display in Brad's relationship with a pretty widow he meets. And that pretty widow plays an unexpected and delightful role in the novel's final resolution.