A Ralph Compton novel by David Robbins
Signet, August 2015
When a bunch of ruffians robs a bank in the sleepy town of Alpine, it’s only natural for the locals to be alarmed. But this gang and its leader, Cestus Calloway, are not common criminals. In fact, Cestus, known as the Robin Hood of the Rockies, distributes his loot to those less fortunate and rains stolen money down on the townsfolk. As if that isn’t too good to be true, this gang holds to one important rule: Steal but don’t kill….
All Alpine’s marshal, Boyd Cooper, wants is peace and quiet, not to get a posse together to track outlaws. However, when an altercation leads to the exchange of gunfire and the spilling of outlaw blood, he doesn’t have much of a choice. The outlaws fear their reputation might be at stake, so they declare revenge on the tin stars of Alpine. They’re mad enough to break their own no-kill rule, and Boyd Cooper knows things could end as bloody as they started….
David Robbins has created a bunch of memorable characters on both sides of the law in this extremely fast moving tale. In fact I hoped some of the lawless would escape death so they could return in another book, but in a David Robbins story it is not predictable as to who will be living by the end on either side.
With the killing of some of their own, Calloway has difficulty keeping control of his vengeance hungry gang members, and David Robbins creates some fine tension as they argue about the best way to take out the posse. And it’s not only Cestus who has problems keeping a tight rein on his band of outlaws, because Boyd Cooper has to struggle to keep his posse together, particularly when a turn of events makes it evident that Cooper no longer wants to bring the outlaws in for trial but wants to see them all dead.
The story is filled with twists and turns and lots of gripping action, and it isn’t long before the posse are played for fools and find themselves, unknowingly, being lead into a death-trap from which there can be no escape.
So who is victorious in the end? Of course I can’t reveal that here but I would suggest anyone who decides to read this book is going to enjoy finding out.