Monday 16 November 2020


Number 20 of 27
By Clay Dawson
Diamond, September 1992

Long Rider cheated death when he was attacked by a savage grizzly. Now, nursed back to health by the beautiful Ella Porter, he’s on the trail of the beast who left him scarred – and left Ella’s husband dead.

But he’s about to sniff out a different kind of predator – a greedy rancher who’s grabbing up land left and right. And Caleb Burr’s sights are set on Ella’s place next – not to mention Ella herself. Only Long Rider stands in his way. And he’ll go for the throat if he has to….

The above blurb is taken from the book and it’s not completely true to the story. Long Rider killed the bear that attacked him, but there is another that is terrorizing the valley and it’s this one he sets out to eliminate. Strangely, this creature seems to only kill those that Burr wants out of his way. Nope, this isn’t another man dressed as an animal type tale, it is a bear that does the killing. Can it really be under Burr’s control and if so how? This is the story-thread that grips the reader and ensures they keep turning the pages.

I have no idea who wrote this book under the pseudonym of Clay Dawson but the author sticks well to the character of Gabe Conrad (Long Rider) that I remember – it has been a long time since I read one of these books though. Burr makes for a terrific adversary as does his gunman Mace. Burr’s current woman, Lulu, is a great character too.

As well as the bear story-line the tale also features double-cross and a murder plot to get rid of Burr, yet the man seems too mean, too astute to be taken out. Burr always seems to be one step ahead of the game and has an easy way to get rid of those he feels are a threat.

There’s plenty of action, some quite gruesome in its description and the plot moves forward swiftly. Even though everything ends more or less as expected this book proved to be a fun read, even though the method of controlling the killer bear stretched my belief a little.

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