Crossfire Trail by Louis L'Amour

Crossfire Trail

(No Series)


Rafe Caradec—gambler, wanderer, soldier of fortune—was as hard a man as the battlefields and waterfronts of Latin America could fashion, but he was as good as his word. As Charles Rodney lay dying in a dank ship’s fo’c’sle, Rafe swore to make sure that Rodney’s Wyoming ranch went to his daughter, Ann. In Painted Rock, Wyoming, Caradec found land for a man to love, miles of rolling grasslands and towering mountains. He also found that one of the most ruthless men in the territory had set his sights on both Rodney’s ranch and his daughter. But Rafe Caradec had given his word, and once he’d looked deep into Ann Rodney’s eyes, nothing short of death would stop him from keeping the promise he’d made.

 The exciting thing about this review is this my first Western, ever. Out of all my years of reading, I'd never picked one up. Even due to that, I know Louis L'Amour seems to be one of the more famous western writers.

Pretty short book that's a quick read, it was just...okay. Action was almost non-stop, to the point where it was slightly taxing. Westerns should of course be about action, but every story, no matter the genre, needs breathing room to drive points home. Non-stop action, just like non-stop sex or non-stop whining, lose impact if not complemented with other literary pulls.

Louis L'Amour writes well and I can't complain too much about his style, but he does go overboard sometimes with those dreadful, dreaded, dread-able exclamation points.

Plot wise it was basically decent, even if a little stale. The man promises another dying man to go and save/talk to his daughter or whatever. I know I've seen these stories on the screen before. There's trouble brewing in town as soon as his horses hoof touches the border. The characters were a little dramatic at times, the woman unnerving as she refused to believe him at first ( a pet peeve), but overall passable and realistic enough.

There was a plot point that bugged me, though. Why in the world would they get into trouble and hung for mutiny? Through the whole book this is what they fear. They were only on the ship because they were kidnapped and held there by force. How would they be hung for mutiny when they escaped then? Makes no sense to me whatsoever, and I kept getting irritated thinking about it when reading this. Grrr.