Friday, October 23, 2015

Forgotten Books: Kincaid's Last Ride - Marshall Grover (Leonard F. Meares)

I've written before on here about how much I've enjoyed the Westerns by Australian author Leonard F. Meares, who wrote more than 800 novels under a variety of pseudonyms, the most famous being Marshall Grover. I started reading his work when I was a kid, in the Bantam editions published under the name Marshall McCoy, never dreaming at the time that years later I'd become friends with the author by correspondence.

I don't read as many of his books as I used to, but I recently picked up some used large print ex-library copies of a few of them, and KINCAID'S LAST RIDE is the first one of this batch I've read. It's a very entertaining yarn, as always. Larry Valentine and Stretch Emerson, the two drifters from Texas who were Meares' most popular characters, find themselves helping out an old-timer who was just released from prison and is on his way back to his old hometown. The old-timer has a gang of killers after him because it's rumored that his cellmate told him the location of a lost gold mine that's supposed to be fabulously valuable. In a nice plot twist (Meares always packed quite a bit of plot into these short books), a beautiful young actress and her husband become involved in the affair, too, and before it's all settled there are plenty of fisticuffs and gunplay.

The Larry and Stretch books, and Meares' other novels, as well, were never ground-breaking, but they're amazingly consistent in their entertainment value. I've read close to a hundred of them over the years and didn't care for maybe two of them. KINCAID'S LAST RIDE is fast-paced,well written, and a lot of fun.

The scan is of the copy I read, complete with library stickers.


Mathew Paust said...

Haven't read a western in I can't remember when, but you have whetted my appetite!

RJR said...

I remember the Nevada Jim books and the great Bantam covers.


James Reasoner said...

Those Nevada Jim covers by James Bama were indeed great. Bantam used some of them again on Louis L'Amour novels. The Larry and Streak covers by Lou Feck were okay but not in the same league as those Bamas.