UPDATE: Author Keith Chapman aka Chap O'Keefe has been kind enough to verify that he also believes the author is Roger Green. I sent Mr. Green a message via FaceBook and I will update here if I get a response. Meanwhile Keith kindly shared the original Cleveland cover (as by Ben Taggart) which is posted now below my review. Thank you Keith Chapman!
I’ve been ordering quite a lot from Cleveland Westerns out of Australia lately, and I’ve decided to post thumbnail reviews now and again.
NOTE: The many authors published by Cleveland westerns use a pseudonym and I have little information on their true identities. I respect the fact that some writers prefer to use an alias. I am also in the dark as to the names of the cover artists. Should any author or artist or their fans wish to share any relevant information, feel free to contact this blog and I’ll be happy to tip my Stetson to them. Thank you!
Among the stable of writers over at Cleveland Westerns, Sundown McCabe always turns in solid stories. Of course, that’s a pseudonym, and I have no idea as to the writer’s true identity. However, the University of Queensland on line resource offers a listing for Roger Green, AKA Roger-Norris Green and Roger A. Callen, born 1937 in Brighton, East Sussex, England, writing under the pseudonym Sundown McCabe and Cole Shelton, Cord Brecker, Brad Houston, Lesley Rogers, and Ben Taggart. War Cloud’s Bride opens with a great line – “It was as cold as a mother-in-law’s kiss as the five riders drifted along the ridge and reined in their mounts under the spreading branches of a giant oak tree.” First published in 1991, War Cloud’s Bride includes all of the elements that make the Cleveland Western digests great fun to read. A colorful pulp fiction cover, lively characters, blazing action and galloping steads all guarantee Western fans a good time. War Cloud’s Bride is a traditional Western in every sense, but professionally created and packaged. There are no extraordinary moments, but the steady gait and requisite suspense and gunplay are handled well. I rather enjoyed this one a little more than some others, with acknowledgment to the author for taking cliché’s and making it seem fresh. There’s a little romance here too, with a fade-out at the appropriate moment before her buckskin laces are completely untied, but that’s okay, because you get the idea. The prose is strictly hard-boiled, tough as old saddle-leather and punctuated by clouds of gunsmoke. Men are men, and women are lovely and curvy. The Indians are stereotypical redmen, and no apologies need to be made for that. Cleveland Westerns are not all politically correct, and nor should they be, although the Indians here are not villainous. War Cloud’s Bride is a Horse Opera, with a desperate pursuit, the white man’s deceptive ways, and a stalwart hero with Steve Brand. The plot charges along with spurs jingling and men drawling and chewing tobacco and shooting. An Indian chief exacts revenge on a rancher named Thomas Martin and takes Martin’s daughter as his bride. Cleveland Westerns are published out of Australia. I recommend you follow the link and check out their catalogue if you have a hankerin’ for horse-apples and gunpowder like I do.