cover image Raiders of Blue Dome

Raiders of Blue Dome

Robert J. Horton. Five Star, $25.95 (200p) ISBN 978-1-4328-2632-1

Five Star’s 10th pulp western from Horton (1888–1934) is really two interconnected short novels originally published in Western Story magazine in 1925, when pulp westerns—a genre marked by simple plots, chaste romance, and action—reigned. Part one finds a Wyoming cattlemen’s association beset by a murderous gang led by the notorious Bolt Blodgett. The desperate cattlemen, over the objections of the sheriff, summon the vigilante Lennister to kill Blodgett. But two gunmen arrive—Lennister and an imposter—and only one person knows who’s who. Part two begins a year on, when the Triangle ranch finds itself in a range war with the Bar Cross spread. Young Connie Cameron remembers Lennister from the Blodgett affair and requests his help after an ambush wounds her father. Lennister quickly figures out the motives behind the range war, but has to dodge the sheriff and a hail of hot lead before he can bring peace. These stories offer little suspense, as Horton lays out the plots clearly and early, but the fast-paced western action is worth the ride. (May)