Fans of spaghetti westerns will love The Lightning Runner: A Western Story. Captured outlaw Lawrence Grey makes a deal with the El Paso sheriff to find a missing man last seen in Mexico. Others have tried and failed to find elusive John Ray, who is the unwitting heir to a millionaire he once aided. Author Max Brand originally provided this story as a serial in a magazine, written in detour-filled installments to keep the audience engaged. So this already suspenseful premise carries through surprising turns of plot as Grey undertakes his task. Narrator Michael Sutherland highlights the machismo and regional flavor of this old fashioned western.
A gripping Max Brand Western full of innumerable plot twists!
Notorious outlaw Lawrence Grey has been captured near El Paso. Marshal Neilan has a proposal for him. Neilan will set Grey free if he tries to locate John Ray, a man who was last known to be living in San Vicente, Mexico. The men Neilan sent previously have disappeared or quit the job.
Brick Forbes of Pittsburgh is worth millions. Ray once did him a kindness. Now that Forbes is desperately ill, he wants to leave his fortune to Ray rather than to his own relatives. Grey agrees to Neilan’s proposal and goes to San Vicente, where he promptly saves the life of Mexican general Miguel O’Riley during a bombing attempt. The general makes inquiries and learns that the stranger who saved his life is called John Lawrence and that he is studying Spanish. Another American named Dickson Jarvis, employed by Forbes’s relatives, informs O’Riley that Lawrence is actually a wanted outlaw on both sides of the border. Later, Jarvis is murdered.
Lawrence has his own audience with General O’Riley and asks him for a guide into the mountains. O’Riley sends for Oliver Slade, a man who strangely resembles the one who killed Jarvis. This proves only the beginning of an intrigue in which Lawrence’s life is threatened continually from all sides.
The Lightning Runner by John Frederick (a pen name of Frederick Schiller Faust, who was primarily known by the pen name Max Brand) first appeared as a six-part serial in Street & Smith’s Western Story Magazine (1/9/32—2/13/32). Copyright © 1932 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Copyright © renewed 1959 by Dorothy Faust. Copyright © 2010 by Golden West Literary Agency for restored material. Acknowledgment is made to Condé Nast Publications, Inc., for their co-operation. The name Max Brand® is a registered trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and cannot be used for any purpose without express written permission.
©2010 Golden West Literary Agency (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This story was first published in 1932 as a six part serial in “Street & Smith’s Western Story Magazine.” It was written under one of Frederick Schiller Faust’s pen names John Frederick. The story was published again in 2010 under Faust’s most popular nom de plume Max Brand. It has been published both in print and e-book and in 2013 Audible published it as an audiobook.
This is a different type of western, it first lead you on as routine western story then suddenly the plot changes. The story starts with notorious outlaw Lawrence Gray being captured near El Paso, Texas. Marshal Neilan has a proposal for him, to go to San Vicente Mexico and locate a man called John Ray. Four men that were previously sent were found dead or have disappeared. The reason for finding John Ray I will not divulge. The story winds its way though twists and turns and the ending is even a bigger twist.
The story is exciting and easy to read. It has humor, suspense, action and of course, romance. The story was written in 1932 and must be judged as of its time. I have read so many stories written in the 1920s and 1930s I have no problem mentally slipping into that time frame. If you would like a well written get away from it all story this book is for you. Michael Sutherland does a good job narrating the story. He is a new narrator for me.
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