Wednesday 22 July 2009

Ruff Justice #2

as by Warren T. Longtree

Signet, September 1981

The Arizona desert – home to Casqual and his Apache raiders. Fearless and merciless, they struck like lightning, killing settlers and disappearing back into the sheltering desert. The local cavalry troops seemed helpless to stop them. So Ruffin T. Justice was sent to catch the renegades and put an end to their senseless slaughtering.

But for Justice the desert held many other perils besides Casqual. Traps as treacherously alluring as the welcoming arms of an auburn-haired beauty and as deadly dangerous as a bullet in the back…

Ruff Justice is a scout for the US Army in this adult series that ran for 28 books, the first being published in September 1981 and the last October 1986. I believe the author behind the pseudonym of Warren T. Longtree is Paul Lederer.

What seems to be a pretty straightforward assignment soon becomes much more involved when Justice arrives at Fort Bowie, Arizona, and finds the fort’s commander, Colonel Lasseman, resents his presence. In fact he soon finds himself ordered to stay behind while the army attempt to track down Casqual. Something is definitely suspicious here but Justice’s endeavours to discover just what is going on are thwarted every time. In fact so much so he leaves the fort and sets himself up as the new Indian Agent on the nearby Reservation in the hopes of unravelling the mystery.

The book is fast moving and has plenty of action before Justice manages to work his way through all the entwined twists and turns of the plot to solve, and deal with, just what is going on in this part of Arizona, which includes the reasons he’s not welcome at the fort, a slave mine, and the problems at the reservation.

All in all an exciting and satisfactory read.


James Reasoner said...

I liked this series a lot but was disappointed that Lederer dropped Justice's dog that appeared in the first book. I believe its name was Dooley. Nice touch for the character.

Unknown said...

Sadly, Paul Lederer does not speak too fondly of Ruff Justice or other "adult" series: "In effect, both we and the publishers were victims of our own greed or simple need to survive in a tough marketplace." I don't entirely agree with Paul's assessment, but his case in its entirety will appear in the next edition of Black Horse Extra.


RJR said...

Funny, James, but I HATED that dog. Couldn't accept that this "ruff" character would name the animal "Dooley Dog."