The Rough Rider

Jack Cummings, Author Walker & Company $17.95 (207p) ISBN 978-0-8027-4089-2
This is a sinewy, fast-reading western, expertly plotted and satisfyingly fleshed out with greed and treachery. Nevada cattlemen Jess Gault and Lew Axford are newly discharged young veterans of the Spanish-American War, having fought in Cuba in 1898 with the volunteer Rough Riders under Lt. Col. Teddy Roosevelt. Lew garners a Medal of Honor and a hero's welcome at home, which he hopes to parlay into successful candidacy for state governor, while running his father's ranch. After recruiting the more sensitive Jess as his buckaroo and sidekick, Lew adopts despicable tactics in his greed for power: he makes Tom Hunt, a dubious hired gun, his henchman; he discredits a Mexican sheriff on ethnic grounds; runs sheepherders off his land; massacres a Pailute Indian family. Torn, Jess finally leaves for Tonopah, a mining boomtown. Cummings ( Tiger Butte ; Sergeant Gringo ) creates a flavorsome sense of the Old West, with just the right amount of ranching and mining details. The characters, sketched with swift strokes, are convincingly motivated, the women are spunky and the struggle between Jess Gault and Lew Axford reaches a bang-up surprise finish. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55817-481-8
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-1-56054-437-1
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