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Along The Restless Trail is the first installment of a western trilogy from Robert Peecher. This first novel promises an action packed epic of gold, rifles, and at least one beautiful woman. I couldn't help but think of a dust and gunsmoke version of The Lord Of The Rings.

Our hero, Tommy Duvall, is a bit tougher than Frodo if just as likable. A man who has put a questionable past behind him, he now leads a group of cowboys as the ramrod of a ranch in Las Vegas New Mexico. We get introduced to the men in the first chapter and their abilities as they fend off their herd from a pack of rustlers. In town, the boys are propositioned by gambler Yote Johnson . Yote is in cahoots with Rodriges, a Mexican who knows about a a guns for gold exchange in his home country. They could use several of the cowboys and Duvall's knowledge of the terrain, particularly where the water holes are, to go down South Of The Border, rob the wagon carrying the gold, and bring it back.

With many of his crew committed, Duvall reluctantly throws in . He wonders if he can trust Yote, his name is short for Coyote.The trip puts the group up against Apache renegades, bandits, federales and revolutionaries, and border town trouble. Duvall also becomes involved with Marisol, the daughter of one of the men they are robbing.

Peecher tells this tale with a great sense of of adventure. His characters are clearly delineated. We get a strong feeling of camaraderie between Duvall and the cowboys. Peecher also creates the right amount of suspenseful friction with Duvall, Yote, and Rodriges. He writes with bravado, applying bold verbs, sharp, concise description, and dialogue clearly reflecting the personalities of his players.

I feel the need to remind folks this is the first book in a trilogy, so expect a cliffhanger at its end. Fortunately the second book, The Restless Trail Home, is already out, and the final installment, Back On The Restless Trail, will be out by the end of this week.. I'm in the saddle for the rest of the ride. Robert Peecher shows he has as much fun writing westerns as we do reading them.


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