E.M. Parsons – Texas Heller (1959)


Category: Texas in Title

Date Finished: October 11, 2015

The author, E.M. Parsons, has more IMDB credits than he does books on LibraryThing, starting in 1960, a year after this novel was published. At that time he would have been 61, being born in 1899. These credits include Cheyenne, Bonanza, and the Virginian. His last credit was 1966, so it was a very short career.

This novel, Texas Heller, is a good novel of returning Union soldier to Texas, trying to regain ranch stolen from him by a Yankee businessman. The main character has an injured right hand so must also overcome the physical difficulties of his war wound. His girl had become the mistress of the businessman, as had another younger woman character. These characters not fully explored except as to how their men and the society reacts to them. Admission that sex exists differs from TV of the time, and from earlier Westerns, but I would have liked more characterization to the women and some of the other male characters. Although the character wins in the end, of course, he still plans to leave, knowing he’ll never fit in with the Confederate sympathizers. This novel avoids the “carpetbagger” stereotypes, but all the villains are Yankees, including an army officer, though there are also Yankee heroes. Solidly written, with good action.



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