Louis L'Amour,
Mustang Man
(Bantam, 1966)

Nolan Sackett, a member of the Clinch Mountain outlaw branch of the Tennessee clan, is riding hell-for-leather from a posse bent on his destruction when Mustang Man begins.

He makes a clean getaway, obviously, or this would be a very short book. His escape relies in part on the kindness of a rancher, who generously chooses to look the other way when Nolan decides to swap his exhausted horse for a fresh one without asking permission.

But Nolan gallops straight from one danger into another. He finds homicidal siblings Sylvie, Ralph and Andrew Karnes stranded in the desert, and he decides to help them against his better judgment. Then he meets Penelope Hume and gets caught up in a race for lost gold that's pitting a host of related and unrelated characters against one another.

Nolan made brief appearances as a hired gun opposing William Tell Sackett in Mojave Crossing and as one of numerous Sacketts coming to Tell's aid in The Sackett Brand. Neither book told us much about Nolan; Mustang Man finally gives this character his due. Turns out he's a bad man with a broken nose and a heart of gold.

The Sackett boys, by the way, tend to find a lot of lost gold in these novels. Who knew there were so many abandoned mines and treasure caches just lying around the western countryside?

book review by
Tom Knapp

19 November 2016

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new