I know that when Alan Ladd starred in Guns of the Timberland (1960), which was based on one of L'Amour's books, the two of them became friends. Ladd owned a ranch, so I assume they found some common ground based on that, if nothing else. The official Louis L'Amour website has a very nice autographed picture that Ladd gave L'Amour, which you can see here. On it, he wrote: "To Louis -- Write another one --I am with you -- Alan." I think that, in a way, L'Amour honored that request by writing this book dedicated to Ladd.
All that made reading this book a very poignant experience, but it's such a thrilling book that I didn't have a lot of time for pensively staring into the middle distance every few pages the way I might have otherwise. The Broken Gun is unlike any other L'Amour book I've ever read in one major way: it's set in the middle of the 20th century. In fact, it takes place in the late '60s, when it was written and published. And it almost feels like a hardboiled mystery, the kind that inspired the noir movies Alan Ladd rose to fame with.
Famous author Dan Sheridan visits a little town in Arizona, researching a couple of ranchers who drove a herd there almost a hundred years earlier and then disappeared. When a man is murdered right outside his hotel room, Sheridan begins suspecting that the long-lost disappearance may have modern repercussions. He gets invited out to a big ranch nearby for what he thinks is a friendly visit, but he quickly discovers that only his wits and an old Army friend stand between him and terrible danger.
|(From my bookstagramming adventures.)|
Particularly Good Bits:
The past was fresh in my mind because I had worked with it so much, and had been living it through all my books, and all the painstaking research that went into their writing (p. 17).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for mild swearing, suspense, and some violence.
This is my 9th book read and reviewed for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018.