Bryce Lamont is just out of prison and, with his younger brother Paul, has tracked down his fellow bank robbers to collect his share of the loot. He is surprised when his gang pays up without trouble, but another kind of trouble is about to strike. A serious malaria outbreak threatens the town and then Paul is shot dead. If Bryce is to get revenge he needs to both fight off his illness and find out who is ultimately responsible for the murder.
The novel has a lean, tight style and its dialogue is hardboiled, without unnecessary embellishments. It manages to successfully blend elements of the private investigator novel with those of the traditional western. Ed Gorman has a good eye for historical detail and uses it conjure up scenes with a few telling phrases.
On the whole Ghost Town is a pretty exciting read with a high body count, plenty of gunfights, brawling, bank robbing and heavy drinking. The mystery element is just intricate enough to keep the reader guessing at least some of the time. Unfortunately it is let down by continuity problems, such as an only child later acquiring a brother, and too many typographical errors.