INVITATION TO A HANGING
by Robert J. Randisi
Pocket Star Books, Dec. 2003
John Locke has been many things – lawman, bounty hunter, gun-for-hire. And when it comes to shooting, he’s a dead shot with a six-gun or rifle. Legends abound in the Old West depicting him as both pillar of justice and a cold-hearted killer. The only things folks know for sure is that Locke’s dangerous – and not to be crossed unless you have more guts than brains.
Locke’s been hired to serve as a bastonero, the Master of Ceremonies, at the hanging of Ignacio Delgado – a deadly bandit leader who, with his bandidos, has terrorized the town of Fredericksburg, Texas. But while the townspeople are eager to see him hang, and his men are equally anxious to set him free, Locke discovers there are unseen forces manipulating events so that the wrong man may end up dead – the Widowmaker himself!
Like most of Robert J. Randisi’s work this book moves forward at a rapid pace with the story very much dialogue driven.
Again Robert J. Randisi has his hero being a friend of Doc. Holliday, who also plays a part in this tale.
Interesting to see that Locke isn’t the perfect hero, has some demons in his past that he’s been trying to hide from, and in doing so has become somewhat dependant on the bottle.
The story builds to a dramatic final shoot-out that brings the book to a satisfying end.
If you like Robert J. Randisi’s writing you’re going to enjoy this book as, I believe, should all fans of fast moving westerns.