as by Dan Mason
Harper, December 1990
A cryptic note sends ranger Lex Cranshaw deep into Texas on the trail of the brutal killer behind a series of horrific and unexplained hangings. The murderous trail leads him to a town choked with stark fear, dark secrets – and warnings in hot lead. Cranshaw has vowed to stop at nothing to exact justice for the victims, whose numbers are still growing…and the next number up could be his own.
Dan Mason sure believes in staking the odds against his hero. Nobody in this story has time for the Ranger, in fact most would rather see him gone – or better yet, dead.
The story is told in a hard-boiled style and has some memorable dialogue exchanges, particularly at the end of the opening chapter.
Mason also keeps the reader guessing as to who is carrying out the killings and why, although the mysterious start to the tale soon becomes a traditional western plotline.
Cranshaw is an interesting character, his failing perhaps being his driving need to see the job through, and to do this without any help; a need that gets him into all kinds of dangerous situations.
This is a fast moving, tough tale, that includes a couple of mysteries along the way, that proved to be a satisfying read, which means I will be picking up the next book in the series sometime soon.
Dan Mason is a pseudonym for Charley McDade.