Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Drifter Detective - Garnett Elliott

The Cash Laramie Universe expands with the introduction of Cash's grandson, private detective Jack Laramie, in an excellent novelette written by Garnett Elliott, "The Drifter Detective". Jack doesn't have your usual big-city office complete with bottle of booze in the desk drawer. No, he's more of a door-to-door detective, as one character in the story refers to him, driving around rural Texas in the early 1950s pulling an empty horse trailer where he sleeps when he doesn't have any place else.

It's a great set-up for a hardboiled private eye series, and Elliott provides the twisty plot (involving a wealthy oilman suspected of smuggling whiskey to the Indian reservations in Oklahoma), the beautiful babes, and the gritty action that the genre demands. He also does a very fine job of capturing the time and place, and I'm someone who knows whereof he speaks since I spent a lot of time around West Central Texas in the early Sixties, and I promise you, things hadn't changed much in the intervening decade.

Basically, "The Drifter Detective" is just a hell of a lot of fun. The cover even looks like it could have come off a Fifties paperback spinner rack. I want more Jack Laramie stories, and I'm ready for 'em right now. Highly recommended.


Garnett Elliott said...

Thanks for the awesome review, James.

RJR said...

What happened to Cash's son? Wouldn't he be a golden age private eye?