Saturday, June 28, 2014

#21: The Judah Lion Contract by Philip Atlee

Joe Gall, the Nullifier, swings into action to rescue an African dictator with hedonistic tastes from his own demise in Philip Atlee's The Judah Lion Contract.

Atlee's Joe Gall series, from the 60s and 70s, come from a less politically correct time, but are often enjoyable if you understand those parameters.  This one is a bit of a boozy romp as Gall and his wayward charge have to flee the dictator's overthrow and head across Africa, various factions at their heels.

An interesting counterpoint to Fleming and Aarons if looked at from the proper perspective, and enjoyable for those who like 60s spy stories.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#20: Wyoming Manhunt by Allan Vaughan Ellston

A sheriff and his able deputy hunt a killer hiding under another name in Allan Vaughan Ellston's Wyoming Manhunt.

Sturdy Western reads a bit more like a mystery with old west overtones, a surprise when I picked this up for less than a dollar to take it on a camping trip, almost sight unseen.

Ellston weaves a lot of threads, from multiple storylines and viewpoints, to the expected conclusion of a furious gunfight at a ranch headquarters.  Nicely done throughout.

I read this in a single day and would recommend it to casual Western readers.

Monday, June 23, 2014

#19: Ambush Basin by Gordo Roberts

The death of a ranch patriarch, from a bullet in the back, sets off a range war in Gordo Roberts' Ambush Basin.

I had never heard of Gordo Roberts, but picked this up for pocket change to read on a camping trip, and I finished it in a single day.

This is a burly, above-average oater, with a lot of familiar characters (a laconic ranch hand, the rancher's daughter, snake-eyed villains) helped along by an action-packed script and colorful descriptions of the land and times.

Good for fans of Westerns.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

#18: Chinatown Assassin by J.R. Roberts

The wandering gunslinger called The Gunsmith sees a murder in San Francisco that reminds him of a vicious killing he saw in Dodge City years before; and soon others are making The Gunsmith part of that connection in J.R. Roberts' Chinatown Assassin.

This is part of a long, long series of "Adult Westerns" written by Robert J. Randisi, number 180 out of hundreds more.  I nabbed this, with a few others, from a rummage sale because I have always been interested in Randisi's writing under his own name.

However, I believe these have come out monthly, for years, so you sort of get what you expect; a standard western, with some R-rated scenes mixed in.  I did, however, like this more than the first one I read, several hundred down the line from this.

I read this in a single day on a camping trip, and would recommend it for those settings.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

#17: Mapuche by Caryl Ferey

In Argentina, a private eye and an artist (the Mapuche of the title, an indigenous person of Argentina) begin to look into the murder of a transvestite prostitute, but quickly find themselves immersed in the dark history of Argentinian politics in Caryl Ferey's grisly thriller from the World Noir line.

Mapuche is a rocketing thriller, with additional intrigue for anyone interested in the history and politics of Argentina and South America, or in political thrillers in general.  I found out to be a good read and a window into a culture I was not familiar with. 

However, Mapuche comes with a warning for readers with a gentle constitution; there is a lot of gruesome torture, murder, and rape throughout, and thus can only be recommended to more mature readers.  Worthwhile to those of a receptive mindset.