Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Reluctant Gun Hand, a Western by Paul Lederer writing as Logan Winters

Jake Worthy had bad luck. Yep, the worst I've seen in a while. He was just out of prison after serving six months for shooting a double-dealing gambler in self-defense. On his way to Rio Lobo to see his girlfriend who is waiting for him again, he is forced into a robbery scheme by three outlaws and a  a tigress of a woman. Jake is supposed to hold the horses ready and provide an extra gun while the others rob the freight office in the town of Belmont. They almost fail, but the woman with the help of Jack, gets away with the money and the others set out to look for her.

The author spins a thrilling tale with some unexpected turns as he takes Jake through a harrowing journey and meets another pretty gal on the way. Mister Winters (Lederer) gets into the conscience of the protagonist in a meaningful way. Jake ends up with the money, but he is torn about what to do with it - return it, keep it, give it away or what? He certainly doesn't want to go back to the Yuma prison again. Will he make it to Rio Lobo? Will his girl still be waiting? What does he do with the stolen money? You'll have to read the story to find out. I found the novel to be very entertaining, suspenseful, action-filled and titillating, not to mention well-written and absorbing. I recommend it for those who enjoy Westerns.