Friday, 26 September 2008

Adam Steele #20

as by George G. Gilman
NEL, April 1979

Adam Steele’s gun was still smoking as the Chinese girl uttered his name with her dying breath. The real killer had escaped and now Steele was on the run with a murder charge on his head.

Steele needed help. Martha Craig and the two Mexican outlaws could provide that if he agreed to assassinate a Mexican government official. To accept would make him a murderer. To refuse would put his neck in the noose for the Chinese girl’s killing. Either way he was in very deep trouble.

George G. Gilman (Terry Harknett) has written a terrific story in Wanted For Murder. His two plotlines twist together in what seems to be an impossible situation for Adam Steele to escape from a free man – or even with his life.

There is plenty of time for Steele to reflect upon his reasons for taking another’s life, as he can relate to the need for vengeance, even though he remains coldly indifferent to the agonizing story behind the assassination attempt. And it’s the fact he only kills to satisfy his own need for revenge, or if he’s in a life or death confrontation, that provides the fascination of this story, that keeps the reader turning the pages to see if Adam Steele can talk, or fight, his way out of having to pull the trigger.

George G. Gilman has a reputation for writing books filled with death and gruesome scenes of descriptive killing, and rightly so in many cases – particularly in his earlier work. The death toll isn’t high in this book, Steele only killing one person - although that’s not the only death within the story. The book is filled with a number of brutal scenes as the tough characters, of both sexes, engage in a gripping battle of wits and nerve. There are a couple of superbly written, tension filled, chase sequences, that’ll keep the reader turning the pages.

If you’re a fan of tough, gritty westerns then this is a book not to be missed.

I must also give credit to Tony Masero, for painting such a superb cover for this book, probably my favourite of the entire Adam Steele series.



I'm not as familiar with Steele as I am with Edge but I've got a dozen or so of the titles. Maybe I'd better start reading them.

AndyDecker said...

Definitly one of Masero´s best covers. And oen of the best Steele novels.

Ray said...

Adam Steele is differant to Edge. Though the books are violent I always felt that Steele was gentler and more thoughtful. Probably, why the chalk and cheese pairing in 3 books with Edge works so well.
Also, when reading the final books in both series - well, just say that it reveals a facet of Edge that is quite revealing.

Steve M said...

I agree with Ray's thoughts about the differences between Edge and Steele. Steele definately spends more time analysing his actions.

tony masero said...

Thanks Guys - I think you're right it was one of the best covers I did. Nice to have it appreciated even now as NEL rarely did.

tony masero said...

Thanks Guys, I agree it was one of the best Steele covers. Nice to have some feeback after all this time.

Steve M said...

Great to see you here Tony, I think it was the colour - or lack of - that appealed, that and the hinted at background.