Previously I had reviewed James Reasoner’s Redemption, Kansas, the first of a new trilogy. After reading the next two books I was also struck by their imminent collectable value. I have written extensively on this blog about collectable paperbacks of the past, but what about the paperbacks today? I think Reasoner’s Redemption series is a great example of modern collectable westerns. James Reasoner has written three outstanding stories and Berkley does such a better job than either Signet or Pinnacle with their covers. All three of the Redemption books feature covers by Dennis Lyall. I hope my scans here do these wonderful covers justice. What we have here are three great westerns written by a pro and packaged with stunning cover artwork. Just like the old days. This is the stuff people like myself will hunt down decades hence. Here’s a recap of all three books:
Redemption: Kansas - is a textbook example of what makes for an entertaining western. Injured in a stampede on a cattle drive, young Bill Harvey is forced to stay in Redemption, Kansas while his leg heals. Problem is, the local lawmen don’t like Texans or cattlemen. To complicate matters, young Bill is tended to by the lovely Eden Monroe, apparently the only person in Redemption that likes him. There’s plenty of suspense, blazing six-shooters and galloping horses.
Redemption: Hunters - This one picks up where Redemption: Kansas left off. Texas cowboy Bill Harvey is now marshal of Redemption, Kansas and things heat up when some buffalo hunters get into trouble with some local Indians. Angry Indians means a possible range war is brewing and the town of Redemption, Kansas is in the way. Add to the mix a bank robbery and Bill Harvey has his hands full just staying alive.
Redemption: Trackdown – This title actually turned out to be my favorite in the trilogy. Bill Harvey is confronted by a hothead Texan named Jesse Overstreet, but when Caleb Tatum and his gang come to town and kidnap Bill’s beautiful wife, everything that he loves and believes in is about to be destroyed. James Reasoner is not capable of writing an uninteresting book and all three Redemption titles are tomorrow’s collectables. But why wait until tomorrow? I hope I don’t sound like I’m preaching, but I want to make the point again there are still some very fine writers of westerns publishing with mainstream New York firms. James Reasoner is one of them. Add these to your Christmas list. Kudos!