It is hard to write a good western with believable dialogue and situations, but Loren D. Estleman is one of the best living writers of the genre.  In this story his character, Deputy U. S. Marshal Page Murdock, is sent out to hunt down an outlaw but also gets involved with a gang of central Montana scofflaws that have been lynching every lawman unfortunate enough to stumble into their territory.  Murdock completes his mission and even manages to right some pretty serious wrongs at his home base of Helena in the bargain.  While this story is pretty short on plot it is a good yarn with rich characters that kept me interested from front to back.  I understand Estleman has written over seventy novels (!) so I think I know where my fiction reading is going to be headed for quite some time.  I note that he also writes detective novels of the "hard boiled" type, and if his command of dialogue is as good in that arena as the westerns it looks like a long time before I come up for air.

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