Ray Hogan- The Peace Keeper (Doubleday 1978) 3.5 Stars
Luke Brazil, ex-bounty hunter, ex-lawman, has been asked by the town of Moriah for his help. Shocked by the sudden change of feelings towards him, considering that they had hated him right up until that moment, he accepts the job. What he really wants is to settle down on his ranch and marry Jenny Lockwood, but now he must face a group of cow hands that are tearing Moriah apart. One side wants the cow hands to be expelled from town; the other wants them to be allowed. The battle will be determined by a vote, but to make sure the vote is fair and that the town will survive the vote, Luke Brazil must take up his gun and use his marshal’s star wisely.
The Peace Keeper grabbed me early on and would not let up until the very last chapter. I was impressed by the fast-moving storyline. It was scene after scene of action. The plot was not overly deep, but it worked well with this western. The setting was very well-created on Hogan’s part. He did a good job of putting the reader into the western era. The characters could have been a little deeper as I only felt that we really got to know Luke Brazil, the main character. I also found that the women seemed fairly weak and flaky in this novel, just like in the last one I read by him. Although in The Peace Keeper the reader only sees any women in a couple of chapters, so it did not really take away from the book too much. I did feel that this book was a good solid western, something I would expect when I picked up a western, no big surprises, but an enjoyable read.
I recommend The Peace Keeper to western readers.
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