By Logan Winters
Hale, November 2011
At the end of a long cattle drive, Joe Sample runs into a little bad luck. A cantankerous steer pins him against a fence post, breaking his leg. So, Joe is laid up in the infamous Dog Stain Hotel next to Yuma pen. His money and the management’s patience has run out when the door of the hotel restaurant burst open and a wild-eyed man named Pierce Malloy walks in, his boot leaking blood. Malloy wants Joe to find a buried cache of money and give it to Tess Malloy whose husband had been hanged that morning. What choice does Joe have, being broke and about to be evicted?
He had accepted a little travelling money minutes before prison guards arrive and gun Malloy down. With the money and a map to the treasure, Joe starts out to fulfil his promise to a dying man. Things do not turn out as planned however; the map leads him in to a nest of thieves and an earthly hell.
Logan Winters really puts his hero through a tough time in this book. Bad luck piled upon back luck. Stolen from, knocked unconscious, lied to, tricked, all these many times over and more. Much of this seems befall him because Joe Sample is a nice guy, a gullible and far too trusting man. He’s also an admirable man due to his determination to see his promise through to the end, no matter how many problems this throws up, it’s no wonder Sample begins to believe the money is cursed.
There’s plenty of action, great supporting characters, and a fast moving plot that contains more than one twist. There are also some great moments of humour, particularly in the story of how the hotel got its name Dog Stain.
As I’ve come to expect, Logan Winters – this being one of Paul Lederer’s pseudonyms – has once more come up with a great, entertaining read, and I’m again left looking forward to his next book.