Max Brand is one of this country’s most famous western writers, so that’s how this latest of his works is being marketed, but it’s also an action-packed crime novel that just happens to take place in the West. Reprinted from its serial form when it first appeared in the pulp Western Story Magazine in 1928, this is one of a series of adventures of James Giraldi, a dashing young adventurer to whom crime is a fine art, looking solely for the excitement, not ill-gotten gains.
He’s hired in this novel by a girl (beautiful) to find her father (innocent) who has diappeared, fleeing from the law after being charged with murder. The girl’s Cousin Edgar (dastardly) has evil intentions toward the estate, and to that end he is making romantic overtures to her mother (fluttery and weak-minded).
It reads much better than it sounds! The action is continuous, the dialogue lyrical, and the tale is truly epic in nature. This is the stuff that legends are made of, the American West of the imagination, not of reality, but an occasional dose of balladry and fables may be just what the doctor ordered.