Thursday, 9 October 2008

Shelter #1

as by Paul Ledd
Zebra, 1980

After seven years in prison for a crime he did not commit, ex-Confederate soldier Shelter Morgan was finally free. In the waning days of war, seeing all was lost, the senior officers had looted the Confederate treasury. Blinded by his loyalty, Shelter had been a fool. His comrades had used him in their scheme and when it was over, he was left with the guilt while they escaped wealthy men.

Now they were scattered across the nation, living soft lives under assumed names – their crime buried and forgotten. Only Shelter Morgan did not forget. If anything, the seven years in prison only increased his smouldering anger. In the name of justice he would get his revenge, even if it took the rest of his life not one of those murdering, thieving men would get away.

The first in a series that ran for thirty-three books, and as far as I can tell each book sees Shelter tracking down a different ex-member of his unit. The series also falls under the label of adult westerns, and there is much of that kind of action in this book.

How Shelter was tricked is told in a number of flashbacks as he begins to hunt for his first target. Tracking this man allows Shelter to become involved in a number of dangerous situations as he rides his vengeance trail. One of the best of these being when he is trapped on a train that’s frozen to the rails and at any moment it will be buried beneath an avalanche.

I don’t know who wrote the blurb but for some reason they call the hero Shelter Dorsett instead of Shelter Morgan.

Paul Ledd is a pseudonym for Paul Lederer, and here he’s written a fast moving and easy read. The plot is pretty straightforward and offers little in the way of surprises, but does make for an entertaining book.

This story, I’d say, is no better or any worse than any of the other adult westerns being produced in the 1980’s.

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