“A skillful blend of legend and reality.” —Publishers Weekly on Soldier in Buckskin
Ray Hogan remains one of the masters of Western fiction. His stories are especially notable for their compelling characters united with a narrative style that is as intensely interesting as it is emotionally involving.
Between Life and Death
Recently released from prison, Dade Lockett was serving time as an accessory to robbery. His partner in crime, Pete Dillard, was not captured. In fact, Dillard abandoned Lockett during the chase, taking all the money with him. While on his way to confront Dillard and settle the score, Lockett witnesses a raid on a ranch defended by a young woman, her younger brother, and an old man. The last thing Lockett wants is to be distracted from his purpose, but his fundamental sense of decency compels him to act. With the element of surprise on his side, he joins in the fray.
Wanted: Dead or Alive
In the second novel in this duo, Ben Jordan leaves Mexico after receiving a job offer from Tom Ashburn, an old friend of Ben’s late father. But while making the journey north, Ben is caught in a terrific thunderstorm in which he loses his horse and gear. He manages to take shelter in a seemingly abandoned cabin, only to find the mortally wounded Walt Woodward. Woodward tells Ben that he is carrying $20,000 in his saddlebags, the proceeds from selling his ranch. If Ben will deliver the money to Woodward’s wife, he can keep $1,000 for himself. But a gang of thieves has been on Woodward’s trail from the very beginning—and they’ll kill anyone who stands between them and the money.
In this duo’s title story, twenty-eight-year-old Dave Bradford is close to achieving his dreams. In an effort to expand his cattle ranch and marry Sirral Drury, Bradford plans to sell four hundred of his cattle in Wichita. But JJ Farman, owner of the biggest ranch in the basin, calls a meeting and warns Bradford he best not try to take the cattle across Texas Flat, even though it’s open range. Going around Texas Flat would add two hundred miles to the cattle drive, another ten to twelve days to the journey. Bradford knows that if he caves to Farman, who is backed by his hired gunmen, Farman will not only control Texas Flat, but all the ranchers in the basin. Can Bradford make it to Wichita without being caught? And what will happen if the drive is stopped?
Although Cole Rinnegar can little afford to leave his ranch in Black Cañon, New Mexico, he decides to make the ten-day trip to Rock Springs after receiving a summons from his brother Harvey, who he hasn’t seen in five years. Cole is supposed to look up a woman by the name of Mattie Foster, who he figures to be a saloon girl. Instead he meets a respectable businesswoman who runs a local bakery. Mattie has been hiding Harvey, who robbed the local bank and was shot. His dying wish is to return the money to the bank, but Cole discovers there are plenty in Rock Springs who do not want that to happen.
Adam Rait just wants to guide his crew across the state of Texas, deliver his cargo, and get paid. But his convoy is almost immediately joined by mysterious Mexican travelers—the beautiful and mysterious Angel de Acera and her brother, Bernal. When Kurt Hanover, the man running the deal and Rait’s employer is murdered, Rait is left wondering what he should do with an entire wagon train of smuggled arms?
The Confederate army wants to get their hands on the guns, but so do the Mexican royalists and the Mexican Juáristas—revolutionaries who want to take their country back.
Rait and his crew make a new deal, but nothing goes as planned, and they soon find themselves on the run, with crazed soldiers and devious spies at every turn. And who is this mysterious Angela de Acera, this angel of steel, and what does she want from Rait?