Chance Gamble is a witness seeker: he pursues witnesses to crimes so they can give testimony for or against those who have been arrested in America’s Southwest around 1885. While “vacationing” in sunny Mexico in the town of Santa Rosina, he is approached by a Mexican named Francisco Velasquez. Silvano Ramos, a mean and evil man, had murdered his sister, and Francisco wants Chance to help find and kill him. Chance is told he is complicit in the murder because he had brought Francisco’s sister to a trial as a witness against Ramos. Chance reluctantly agrees to help find Ramos and his gang of cutthroats who are terrorizing settlements across the border in Texas.
This novel is western writing at its best. The action is solidly paced, and the steady unraveling of the plot is genuinely exciting. The differences between Chance and Francisco, along with their mistrust of each other, add an additional element of suspense to the story. Will Francisco kill Chance after finding Ramos? This is a highly recommended western novel.