The Adventures of Johnny Vermillion / by Loren D. Estleman

A thoroughly enjoyable yarn about a corrupt acting troupe that tours the frontier west and robs banks simultaneously with their stage performances.  Johnny Vermillion is the mastermind of this interesting group of rogues who has figured out the perfect alibi for the robberies by having the actors assume many different roles on stage to confuse witnesses.  Everything is going well until the Pinkertons get on their trail, and the troupe crosses paths with a dangerous outlaw gang.  This novel is written in cinematographic style, with the author occasionally stepping out of the narrative to present the scenes as if the reader is watching a movie.  This style of writing works very well for those of us who watch and enjoy western movies, but I wonder if it might be too confusing for readers who simply lack that experience.  Regardless, I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.

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