Tuesday, July 13, 2010

#35: The Trail Ends In Hell by John Benteen

A trail boss takes his cattle to a town to sell them off, only to find the town overrun by crooks and shysters; he then takes it upon himself to clean up the place, knowing it is the only way he is going to be able to get a good price on his herd.  The Trail Ends in Hell is a burly western by John Benteen, the psuedonym for busy pulp writer Ben Haas.

I like to read an old western from time to time to change things up and found that I really enjoyed this one. It is from that late 60s-early 70s era when westerns began to drop the straight-laced, singing cowboy-style persona and reflect more the violent "spaghetti western" stylings of the time. 

Benteen presents a particularly hard-nosed story here, though our stubborn trail boss protagonist does, in old-time western fashion, manage to tame down both the town and a hot-blooded rancher's daughter at the same time.

I enjoyed this read quite a bit and devoured it quickly.  I bought this paperback for a dollar at a flea market and will definitely go on the prowl for more John Benteen/Ben Haas.

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