Monday, July 31, 2006

Ride Into Yesterday, by Ed Gorman

(pb; 1992)

From the back cover:

“When Stephen Payne rode into Favor to investigate the death of his younger brother, Art, he figured he’d have his work cut out for him. The rumor spreading through town was that Art had robbed a stagecoach and then hanged himself. Art had a history of trouble , so he might have committed the robbery – but suicide? Stephen had his doubts.

“Favor was a town on the downside of a small silver boom, a town full of secrets. But Stephen owed it to his kid brother to cut through the secrets – and lies – no matter what the cost.”


Gorman’s prolific output, where his talent is always on display to some degree, can be uneven. Count this as one of his hits.

Everything that makes Gorman such a great writer (when he’s “on”) is here: the flawed but relatable characters (even the bad guys have shades of humanity within them), the stripped-to-the-bone writing and action (born of the characters’ emotions and motives), and a Western-true, twist-punctuated plot.

The ending is one of the best finishes I’ve read to a Gorman book: one of the author’s finer efforts.

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