Ralph Cotton- Showdown at Rio Sagrado (Signet 2004) 3.5 Stars
A tough crowd has come into Redemption and taken control, with the full support of the corrupt town council. When the sheriff is murdered an innocent man is taken into custody. The town council has now appointed an inexperienced blacksmith to be town sheriff and he is supposed to be in the council’s pocket, but that won’t happen if Ranger Sam Burrack has anything to say in the matter. Coming into Redemption he intends to find out who the killer is and teach Sheriff Delbert Watts how to be an honest, upstanding sheriff. Together they intend to free Redemption of its corruption and send the gang that controls it packing.
Showdown at Rio Sagrado contains action packed scenes mixed with brilliant actions by Ranger Sam Burrack and less than intelligent reactions by a gang of ruthless thugs. It wasn’t always realistic, but it was definitely amusing. I enjoyed how he always seemed to know their next move and was able stop them in their early stages of planning. I do wish that Ralph Cotton had made the situations a little more realistic. The characters were nicely done. It was interesting to see Sheriff Delbert Watts change as he was influenced by Burrack into becoming an honest man. The villains were also well done, although they were not very bright, which may not have been very accurate of villains of the time. The book was pretty predictable, but westerns usually are. As for the plot it wasn’t overly deep, but it was still good enough to keep me wanting to read the book. I did enjoy this western and recommend it to those who like westerns.
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