This book is the fourth of the Cole and Hitch westerns, and they find the duo back in Appaloosa, site of the first film. They’re not the law now–there’s a marshal in town with designs on higher office–but they catch on with the local saloons as private security when the local shopkeepers grow tired of the real town marshal’s protection racket–the merchants pay up extra to make sure that the law arrives in a timely fashion.
While they’re defending a saloon, Cole kills the son of a local rancher (who has taken up residence in the homestead of the last Appaloosa bad guy Cole dispatched), who then hires a killer to dispatch Cole. When a raiding native threatens the town, Cole brings it to the attention of the marshal, who walks right into the native’s trap as Cole and Hitch join forces with the rancher and the killer to save the town from the natives.
It’s a quick read–quicker than The Virginian or Wild Horse Mesa— but it’s a modern book, and it probably sacrifices some depth for pageturning. Which is opposite of what I usually complain about, I know.
Books mentioned in this review: