Monday, 26 July 2010

Hideout at Mender's Crossing

as by John Glasby
A Black Horse Western from Hale, July 2010

The ghost town of Mender’s Crossing was the ideal base for a gang of outlaws to operate from without interference. Then, a group of soldiers are killed defending a gold-train and the army calls upon special operator Steve Landers to investigate.

Now, Landers must face not only the gang but land baron Hal Clegg, whose hired mercenaries are driving independent ranchers off their land. He will need nerves of steel if he is to succeed when he is so heavily outnumbered. Can he cheat the odds and win?

John Glasby is one of Hale’s most prolific Black Horse Western writers, having had books published under about fifty different pseudonyms. Hideout at Mender’s Crossing is only the fourth to appear with his own name as author I believe.

This book is superbly paced and full of well-drawn characters on either side of the law. The two story threads causing all sorts of problems for Landers, as does the beautiful Freya Morgan and her Apache sidekick. Even though the reader expects all these threads to be linked you’re never quite sure if that’s how things will turn out.

The action sequences are well described and full of excitement, from the spectacular train robbery near the beginning, to a stagecoach robbery and the final showdown. Mistrusts between various characters, who find themselves working together through need rather than wanting too, adds some well-crafted tensions to the story.

As you’ve probably gathered, I found this to be a very entertaining read that has me wanting to search through my collection of BHW to see if I have anymore by John Glasby.

Hideout at Mender’s Crossing is officially released at the end of this month but should be available now from the usual Internet sources.

1 comment:

Chap O'Keefe said...

An interesting entry on John Glasby is filed at Wikepdia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Glasby

I think many of his BHWs are reprints of his old, low-budget paperbacks (Lariat Westerns, Blazing Westerns) from companies that put their focus was on quantity rather than quality, so it's pleasing to hear this one didn't disappoint.

Of course, the book could be an entirely new story. Sydney Bounds wrote westerns well into his eighties, and Keith Hetherington still does. There are probably others, too.