#BookReview: Climax by Paul Lederer

Climax by Paul Lederer

There is nothing to love about the town of Climax, a godforsaken speck of earth with one saloon, one restaurant, and one lawman. Ever since he got too old to ride the range, Giles Frost has worn a silver star, sleeping in the jail, patrolling Main Street twice a day, and waiting for trouble that has never shown its face—until now.

On his nightly patrol, a gunshot rings out and Frost falls to the dirt, shot in the side. A gang of renegades has decided to make their home in Climax, and they have no interest in retaining the services of the law. But although he may look soft, Giles Frost has a spine of steel. There’s not much to this town, but its sheriff will kill to keep it free.

From the publishers Open Road Media via Netgalley in exchange for a review.

I dont know why I picked this book up, as I’m not normally a fan of Westerns. This is a sparsely told story, where Giles Frost has become stuck in a rut, patrolling the small town where very little happens. He pays no rent or stableing, gets most of his meals paid for, and so manages to store up a nest egg, which proves to be useful. During a night patrol, Frost gets shot in the side, and during his convalescence, he is informed that his services are no longer required and that he needs to leave town by the end of the month.

He leaves, and manages to bunk down on the farm of a man whose life he once saved. Local hospitality is provided by the old man Weaver and his daughter (Ada), but not by Calvin, the son. On the first night, Frost gets set upon by a group of men who clearly know who he is and object to him being there. Over the next few days he realises that there are a lot more men coming in from outside, not only to the ranch but into Climax as well. The arrival of one, then a second lawman, prompts Frost into helping out, as the town and the surrounding ranches are being targeted for takeover by Mansir and his posse of outlaws (the ranch providing the cattle for feeding the troops).

This is a short book, so it’s not long before the three lawmen, and many of the riders from the ranch, take on the men in Climax, and there’s a massive violent show down. There are some surprises – mainly for Frost where threats and allies come from unexpected directions.

In summary: considering it’s not my normal style of book, this was a short but decent read and a good introduction to the genre

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