TRAIL OF DEATH
as by Dale Colter
Harper, Jan. 1994
When Sam Slater rides into the town of Slipshod, Wylie Fortune – a killer with a five hundred dollar price on his head – is his for the taking. It’s easy pickings for Slater until the desert massacre of the 10th Cavalry explodes in a blaze of bullets, and he’s the fall guy. With nothing less than a reward for recouping twenty thousand dollars in stolen gold at stake, Slater must outshoot the army and Rowdy Burton’s gang in a bloody battle that begins and ends in a hail of hot lead.
There’s plenty of fast paced action in this book as Sam Slater, The Regulator follows this trail of death. If the above isn’t enough the author also throws into the mix a renegade band of Apache, whose leader, Huerfano, will bring back painful memories from Slater’s past, memories that can only be paid for in death.
The book builds well, with Slater having quite a bit of bad luck as well as good. His character of a man who only cares about himself and getting his bounty comes across strongly. The support cast is portrayed equally as well, the half-breed Creel being a particular favourite.
The book is filled with violence; often savage, and I felt the inclusion of the Siwel cousins – a couple of wannabe bounty hunters - provide some lighter moments that balance the brutality out well.
To my knowledge this is the only entry in the series from this particular author, Preston Lewis, and it’s a shame he didn’t do more. Definitely one of the better entries in this twelve book series.
Worth looking for if you like tough, gritty westerns.