Back to my addiction. I now officially declare that Elmore matches or surpasses Louis L’Amour in the western genre. Here are three reasons why:
The Bounty Hunters, Valdez is Coming,Gunsights:
The Bounty Hunters is not about the kind of bounty hunters one normally associates with the phrase, and for tale-telling you can’t ask for more than renegade U.S. army officers in Mexico, all with secrets to hide, dating back decades to the Civil War. That’s just the situation. You have to remember, of course, that you’re in the presence of Leonard, who deals out characters with unmatched variety and depth. Oh, and don’t forget the romance.
Gunsights is a story of best friends in conflict, told often through the eyes of the press corps, who would love to see a showdown and are willing to hang around danger like a Greek Chorus to either see a duel or create one or make one up to satisfy their bosses back east. For once, the Apaches are the good guys. Oh, and don’t forget the romance.
Valdez guns down a black man almost by mistake and decides to take up a collection to benefit his Indian widow and unborn child. Almost no one wants to contribute, and the few who would are afraid of the cattle rancher boss who actually caused the confrontation that brought Valdez to his misdeed. So Valdez goes back. And goes back. And goes back till the money is no longer the object. And definitely don’t forget the romance.