David Cranmer shows a lot of confidence in turning over his popular characters, deputy
marshals Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles, to other authors. Based on the first entry in this new series, that confidence is not misplaced. U.S.
Heath Lowrance's novelette "Miles to Little Ridge" is a solo Gideon Miles story that finds the black deputy marshal arriving in the small town of
to arrest a fugitive. When he gets there, though, Miles discovers that in the three years the wanted robber has been living in Little Ridge, the man has become a respected member of the community. Naturally there are people who don't want Miles to arrest him. Little Ridge
As if that's not enough for Miles to deal with, an old enemy of his happens to be in Little Ridge, and as soon as he lays eyes on the deputy marshal, he decides that it's time for him to have his revenge.
Lowrance combines these elements into a fine traditional Western yarn. Not surprisingly, it's very well written, with good action scenes and interesting characters. With its somewhat downbeat ending, "Miles to Little Ridge" reminds me of the work of H.A. DeRosso, and you don't get much better than that.
I'm very pleased that authors such as Cranmer, Lowrance, and Wayne Dundee are getting people to read Westerns who never tried one before. As you know, I'm a strong supporter of the genre and think that it's far from dead. In fact, I think it's going to be around for a long time to come. If you're already a Western fan or just want to try one, you definitely should check out "Miles to Little Ridge".