Sunday, December 29, 2013

#47: The Oxbow Deed by Clement Hardin

Fresh out of prison and wrongly accused, an aging cattle hand--and a hot-tempered friend he made behind bars--come home to find the ranch he left behind overrun by owlhoots, backstabbers, and other villainy in Clement Hardin's The Oxbow Deed.

Hardin, actually Dwight Bennett Newton, had a long run as a Western scribe, and this outing (the other half of an Ace Double on the flip side of Kincaid, which I reviewed earlier this year) is a highly serviceable read.

There are lots of standard characters--a blustery but fair ranch boss, his innocent daughter, a sinister gun hand who's actually a coward--but a few nice surprises and a satisfactory wrap-up.

I found this Ace Double Western at a flea market at a goodbye price and read both sides.

Undemanding but enjoyable, and I will keep my eyes peeled for more classic Clement Hardin.

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