Friday, November 28, 2014

Forgotten Books: Hell in the Saddle - Ed Earl Repp

HELL IN THE SADDLE is the story of Clint Buckley, who returns to his father's ranch in the Big Bend of Texas after several years away, only to find that his father has been murdered, rustlers are running rampant, and a mysterious masked vigilante known only as Don Muerto is riding around the Big Bend shooting people. It's up to Clint, of course, to smash the rustlers and avenge his father, with the help of Don Muerto.

HELL IN THE SADDLE, like the other Repp novel I've read, CYCLONE JIM, is melodramatic even by pulp standards, and Repp throws away any element of mystery by revealing Don Muerto's real identity very early in the book. (I like the name "Don Muerto", though.) The real saving grace is that Repp writes good action scenes. The book concludes with an epic battle that lasts for three or four chapters and keeps getting more operatic as it goes on. I wouldn't recommend that anybody rush out and hunt down a copy of this book, but take it for what it is and it's pretty entertaining. (Nice cover on that Hillman reprint, too. The original edition was published by Godwin in 1936.)


Rick Robinson said...

Just curious, James: is that Don as in title, or Don as in short for Donald?

James Reasoner said...

It's been a while since I read the book, but I'm pretty sure it was meant to be the title.