Robber’s Roost: A Western Duo

William MacLeod Raine, Author
William McLeod Raine. Five Star, $25.95 (276p) ISBN 978-1-4328-2614-7
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These two westerns, serialized a century ago, illustrate Raine’s (1871–1954) love of letting character and plot develop without planning ahead, resulting in loose and choppy but entertaining western tales. Sappy and short on action, “Troubled Waters” is a meandering soap opera with Wyoming cattlemen fighting sheepmen over grazing lands, water, and the love of two women. Enmity between McCoy and Tait leads to bad decisions and hasty gunplay that leads to murder, but the wrong people will hang unless McCoy’s wife pulls off a miracle. The earlier and better “Robber’s Roost” is funny, clever, suspenseful, and loaded with snappy dialogue and convincing characters. New Mexico Sheriff “Bear-Trap” Collins is a tough lawman with a sharp, irreverent sense of humor and duty. He’s on the trail of the ruthless Dolf Leroy gang, who are furious after being outsmarted by a girl in a holdup. Everyone’s after some buried loot, but a kidnapping ups the ante and one man’s love will cost him his life. These fun, pulpy, sometimes corny westerns are full of vivid imagery and gun smoke. (July)
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