Lyle Brandt is another in a long line of pseudonyms for Michael Newton, author of over 170 novels, including many of the men’s adventure Executioner series, as by Don Pendleton. This is a western, though, and once you start reading it, it’s one you won’t put down right away.
The first 60 pages are intense. Gunman Matt Price is found by a migrating black family after being left for dead; is nursed back to a semblance of health; and then becomes the savior in turn when the small wagon is accosted by a gang of redneck outlaws taking exception to the color of the Carver family’s skin. Refuge is found in the town of New Harmony, founded on the principles of equality for all. The doctor, who has her work cut out for her in saving Price’s skin again, is indeed a woman, which makes for two largely unlikely happenings (historically speaking) in one short amount of time.
New Harmony is, as it turns out, under attack, and Matt Price may or may not be their protector and their champion. Unevenly told – the middle section sags somewhat – and rather linear in terms of plot, but the story’s ending has all the gunsmoke and action you could ever hope for.