Date Finished: August 30, 2016
This one bogged me down in a reading funk, or at least had me reading comics and other things rather than novels. The story isn’t too bad, though not groundbreaking in any way. A former Texas Ranger is convicted of murder, but escapes before his death sentence can be carried out. Riding through ranch country on his way to Mexico, he becomes involved with a range war, eventually being hired on at a neutral ranch caught between four feuding ranches, two on each side. There are ranch owners and gunmen for each of these parties, plus train robbers, lawmen, and others, so it all gets a bit confusing. Perhaps all this backtracking to remember who was who bogged me down. I pushed through on the last 70 pages in one sitting and it finished well, wrapping up all the loose ends with convenient shoot-outs. James Reasoner has a better summary.
The copyright renewals from 1963 list the original date as 2 January 1936 and it looks like Houghton Mifflin published it in hardcover that year. It was also published in Complete Western Book Magazine in July 1936, but the title was changed to “Killer!” for some reason. My paperback copy, above, turned out to be missing a number of pages, so the digital pulp version helped fill in that gap.