Just finished the reissue by Leisure Books of the first Leo Guild novel. I quite enjoyed this one and need to find the other two. While I’ve read a number of Gorman mysteries(Jack Dwyer and Sam McCain) as well as a few standalones, this is the first western of his for me.
Leo Guild is an older man who rides into the town of Danton to deliver a prisoner to the Sheriff for the reward. An older man, a former lawman, he now makes a living as best he can, bounty-hunting. Tired, he decides to take some time to regain energies since the Sheriff is an old friend.
We don’t know what early in the book, but something happened in the past that nearly got him lynched, then he was found not guilty during a trial. It still weighs heavily on his conscious, though, and we gradually learn the story as the tale moves along.
It causes him to get involved when a young couple gets into trouble, the man accused of killing the bank’s accountant during a midnight robbery attempt and a lynch mob is scouring the town for him. Things are not as they seem as the powerful bank President, son of the town’s founder, seems intent on getting the young man killed. Guild gets him to surrender and takes him to the jail to await trial.
Reluctantly, after the young man hangs himself in the jail cell over his “remorseful” act that very night, Guild takes a hand to find out what really happened and why.
A nice little crime novel disguised as a western.