In two masterfully written, fast-paced Westerns reprinted from the 1950s, a hot-headed teenager on the run from the law becomes a bandit… and the fastest gunman ever to come out of Texas.
The Desperado and the follow-up, A Noose for the Desperado, penned the following year, are two thrilling tales by Clifton Adams, a two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award.
A short story writer for pulp magazines in the late 1940s, Adams began his literary career as a novelist in 1950 with the first of two adventures featuring Talbert ‘Tall’ Cameron, the young tearaway turned hard-bitten gunslinger.
Published by Gold Medal Books, The Desperado became a popular novel on its release and legendary crime writer Donald E. Westlake would later cite it as having an influence on his writing. It was also made into a hit B-movie by Allied Artists.
Bud Elmer, in his entertaining introduction to this fine Stark House reprint which comprises both novels, dryly remarks of the movie version: “For an act or two the plot streamlines the book pretty well. Then things go to heck in a hand-basket and any similarities with the book ride out of town.”
My review of The Desperado / A Noose for the Desperado by Clifton Adams is published today in the Lancashire Evening Post, and syndicated to 25 newspapers across the UK.