A Rope for Scudder
by Clay More
Jake Scudder is just a drifting, peace-loving cowboy. So why does he find himself in jail, convicted of the murder of an old-timer he had befriended and sentenced to hang for that crime he didn't commit?
Jake gets a chance to clear his name when the train taking him to the gallows crashes, but was that wreck an accident? Who's the real ringleader of the gang of vicious outlaws known as the Marauders? Jake Scudder has to dodge not only the law but also a cunning murderer as he attempts to save his own life and that of a beautiful young woman. A Rope for Scudder is another classic, action-packed Western from bestselling author Clay More and the Western Fictioneers Library.
The drifting cowboy who finds himself neck-deep in trouble is a classic Western plot, and Clay More (Keith Souter) does a fine job with it in A Rope for Scudder. Jake Scudder is literally up to his neck in trouble, because he's sentenced to hang for the murder of rancher Hank Lassiter, an old-timer Scudder has befriended only a day before the killing. A sudden burst of violence frees Scudder, but only temporarily, and he knows he'll have to find out who really killed Lassiter and why if he wants to clear his name. At the same time, a gang of outlaws have kidnapped old Hank's niece, and Scudder sets out to free her.
It's a complex plot enlivened by Souter's fine hardboiled prose and plenty of action. Trains crash, dynamite blows up, guns roar, and fists fly. The story rockets along to a very satisfying ending that includes some surprising plot twists. A Rope for Scudder is great fun, and I'm glad The Western Fictioneers Library has made it available again and given me the chance to read it.