Monday, June 27, 2005
The Gun Trail -- H. A. DeRosso
I didn't know about H. A. DeRosso until a year or so ago. I believe it was James Reasoner who clued me in, and I've read a couple of DeRosso's books since then. I don't know what readers expected when they bought The Gun Trail in 1953, but I'll bet they were surprised. The plot sounds perfectly standard. It involves a deputy who's trailed a killer to the White Peaks country, a range war between a powerful rancher and all the little guys, and a beautiful woman. You might even think you could guess how it all plays out. But you'd probably be wrong. This is a brutal, grim, bloody book. There's not a sympathetic character in it, unless you feel something for the deputy, Quinton. But he's almost as bad as the others, adn they're mostly cold-blooded killers or worse. This is about as dark as it gets, folks, with no compromise.