Tuesday, 15 July 2008

McAllister: The Hard Men

as by Matt Chisholm
Mayflower 1963

One of the very first books in Matt Chisholm’s series featuring McAllister.

Land hungry rancher Sickert dams the water that supplies the valley thus cutting off the ranchers who live there. McAllister is one of those now without water and it isn’t long before those desperate for water are banding together to take on Sickert and his hired guns.

At first McAllister tries to take on Sickert the legal way but after being brutally beaten and thrown in the dam to drown he comes out fighting.

So a book about a range war, Sickert trying to force the valley ranchers out so he can claim the land for his expanding ranch. Those that don’t leave he’ll burn out and kill if needs be. Trouble for him is that McAllister’s more than tough enough to stand upto him.

Chisholm (real name Peter Watts) writes an excellent tale here. A fast paced story full of hard men, and equally tough women. A book filled with characters that’ll do anything to achieve their wants, even take on overwhelming odds.

The Hard Men is literally filled with action, the second half seemingly one confrontation after another that leads to an exciting climax.

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