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Friday, May 20, 2011


Another winner here from Michigan’s own Loren D. Estleman.  Don’t yet know if this is the novel for which he won his Fifth Spur Award (through the Western Writers of America) or if it will garner him a Sixth one.  Either way, this book is deserving of recognition as fine Western literature.

I have a special fascination with stories about Hangmen and, in particular, Judge Isaac Parker.  Parker has been used as a character template for years in Western movies and TV shows for his willingness to sentence deserving souls to the gallows, yet do it with regret and compassion.  “The Branch and The Scaffold” really captures the essence of Parker’s character and is one of Mr. Estleman’s best novels (of any kind) to date. 

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