Friday, October 27, 2017

FFB: Four Ugly Guns (Buffalo Hunter #2) -- Ralph Hayes

Ralph Hayes wrote a lot of books for the low-rent paperback houses back in the '60s and '70s, both westerns and adventure series.  He wasn't a great prose stylist, and his storytelling was pretty straight ahead, as it is in Four Ugly Guns.  

The buffalo hunter is a man named O'Brien, and in this book he stops off his wandering to pay a visit to his friend Tobias.  When he arrives at Tobias's house, he finds Tobias, his wife, and his sons dead, murdered by a Mexican bandit called Diablo and the three other members of his gang.

After that, it's a simple affair.  O'Brien goes after the killers to get revenge.  He gets it, killing one after another of the gang members.  There's no swerving from the plotline,  no twists, no unexpected thrills.  I don't know why I picked this book up to read, but it was fast going if mediocre.  I doubt I'll be reading another one in the series, although I have a couple.


Anonymous said...

Hey Bill, have you read Ben Haas/John Benteen's Fargo or Sundance novels?
They're from the same era, appealed to the same readers and fit on the same shelf as this series, but they are much more satisfying.

Every now and then I crave a hardboiled, men's action adventure western/historical yarn. Something fast and violent with the 'good guys' only good because they wipe out even worse guys. Haven't found anybody who does that better than Haas.

John Hocking

George said...

Westerns used to be a section in every store that carried books. Now, they're scarce.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Didn't Hayes write some violent Executioner-style paperbacks in the '70s or '80s? Didn't know he wrote westerns.

Unknown said...

John, I've read Haas, and I agree. Much more satisfying than Hayes.

Jeff, I'm not sure about the Executioner-style pbs. I have some of the adventure novels and westerns, but that's about it for me. I didn't pick up many books by Hayes.

Jeff Meyerson said...

OK, maybe I remembered wrong about that. But according to Hubin, he did do a couple of paperback series in the '70s, and wrote at least one Nick Carter.