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.
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