Friday, January 24, 2014

Ruff Justice # 1 Sudden Thunder by Warren T. Longtree



Where were you in 1981? That’s when Ruff Justice # 1 hit the racks during the glory years of Adult Westerns. I have no clue as to the author’s real name, so I googled it and found several references to Paul Lederer. I think Paul Lederer writers under the name Owen G. Irons and the books of his that I’ve read are excellent. I read an interview on the Black Horse Western Extra site where Lederer mentions working on the series. In any event, the Ruff Justice series is enjoyable on its own terms. I have several of these and I enjoyed them all. I see these paperbacks all the time during my northwoods excursions to antique shops and flea markets. They are as common as L’Amour paperbacks, but seldom found in mint condition. U.S. Cavalry scout Ruffin T. Justice, along with his sidekick, a dog named Dooley Dog, is asked by Colonel MacEnroe to escort Hugh and Amos Denton and the lovely Marguerite Denton as they retrieve their father’s body. Referred to as a “fool’s errand” from the onset, readers won’t be surprised that the action and suspense levels heat up as the party make their way to Camas Meadows. I enjoyed the leisurely but detailed style of writing, and the way the story developed as they travel by wagon and horseback on a quest that Justice himself muses is “A fool’s mission, and he knew it. The Dentons must have twisted the colonel’s arm pretty hard to ever get the old man to agree to this. A Sunday drive through a battlefield. But if a man could push those thoughts aside it was a beautiful day...” (p. 18) While the lovely Marguerite Denton provides the requisite diversions one expects, the other Dentons harbor some secrets, all resulting in some good action scenes. Indian attacks, a trek through snow, and a girl named Candida add to the pulp paperback entertainment and helps make Ruff Justice # 1 an enjoyable book. No in-depth analytics are required here. This is solid masculine prose as advertised.

3 comments:

  1. Dooley Dog. Gawd!!!!! Paul also wrote the SHELTER series for Zebra.

    RJR

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  2. LOL! Yep, the dog is a bit of an anomaly in that book! I'll check out the Shelter series sometime! Thanks RJR!

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  3. I think SHELTER was a better series. Also published by Signet, and a better series, was Leo P. Kelly's CIMARRON.

    RJR

    ReplyDelete

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