Friday, February 06, 2015

FFB: A Badge for a Badman -- Brian Wynne (Brian Garfield)

I'm a big admirer of much of Brian Garfield's work, but until now I'd never read a book written under his "Brain Wynne" pen name.  If this one's typical, I'd say I haven't missed much.  Garfield is on record as disparaging one of my favorite western movies, Rio Bravo, but I'd like to think that has nothing to do with my not caring for this book.  I'd like to think that, but I can't guarantee, so take what I say with a large helping of salt.

As you can see this is "A 'Marshal Jeremy Six' Novel," which means it's part of a series.  In this one, Six finds himself in this situation: He's arrested the Cleve Mariner after killing his father when the two tried to rob the bank.  Ma Mariner vows that she'll have Six's guts for garters and gathers her outlaw gang to go into town and free her son.  Hmmmm.  Sounds like a plot I've heard somewhere before.  

Unlike in that familiar story, however, Six doesn't keep Cleve in the calaboose.  He decides to take him to another jail in another town.  This doesn't work out as Six had hoped.  Ma gets the gang after him, and Cleve proves more resourceful that you might think.  Meanwhile, Wes, a relative of the Mariner clan, comes into town, looking to give up his life as a fast gun and settle down.  Not only is he a member of the clan, but he knows Six from the old days (so does Cleve, for that matter).  He's wound up in Six's town purely by coincidence.  Anyway, he's the Bad Man who gets the badge and who . . . I'll leave it to you to find out.  

I wish I could recommend this book, as several friends have liked others of this series.  Maybe I'll read another one someday, but I doubt it.

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