By Pike Bishop
Pinnacle, April 1983
Diamondback. His real name is seen only on wanted posters, spoken only by bounty hunters. But as Cord Diamondback he’s blazed new fame as a judge-for-hire – with the fists, guns, and brains to make his decisions stick.
He took the job in Dog Trail for the money – and the woman. But Diamondback has been double-crossed. And the sentence for that is death!
This Diamondback series lasted for nine books (a tenth was announced but Pinnacle folded before it was published) and a variety of writers wrote as Pike Bishop. Raymond Obstfeld being the author behind the pseudonym this time.
I found the book to be a very entertaining read that moved forward at great speed. There’s plenty of action and a fair amount of humour too. It may contain a bit too much sex for some but this series did come out at the height of the adult western and was aimed at that market.
Characterisation is very good, especially in the case of Cord Diamondback. The reason he changed his name and why he won’t take his shirt off in front of anyone adding a sense of mystery to his background. I hoped this would carry on throughout the series but the author had other ideas and the reader does find out the truth before the end. I also liked how Diamondback is given a catchphrase, something else that helps make him a memorable hero. Whenever asked how he knows so much about a particular subject he always says it interests him – which is often.
On the strength of this story I will definitely be hunting through my collection for the other books in the series.