book cover of Retribution Range

Retribution Range

(The fifth book in the Ballard and McCall series)
A Novella by

On their way home from the funeral of a friend, Ballard and McCall unwittingly cross Circle-B range and find themselves mistaken for rustlers. Tensions are high and McCall is forced to defend himself when a pair of zealous cowhands bring their guns into play. One man ends up dead and another is wounded. McCall takes a bullet in the side.

The Texans ride in to the local town, Jericho, to report the incident to the law. Before they know it, however, Ballard and McCall are caught up in the local problems led by Celestine Blanchard, owner of the Circle-B, her treacherous, wayward son Orrin and the underhand trickery that results in more gunplay and violence.

The Texans take more than their share of hard treatment before a bullet ridden showdown brings peace to Circle-B and the streets of Jericho - with its own personal tragedy.

Although the bulk of Mike Linaker's fiction has appeared in the action-adventure genre, where he regularly chronicled the adventures of Gold Eagle's Mack Bolan, he remains one of Britain's most accomplished western writers.

Mike's main interest in adolescence was science fiction. "The western influence came from film and television," he later explained. "One day I happened across a Fawcett Gold Medal western called Tough Hombre by Dudley Dean. Something about the cover just hooked me, and after I finished reading it I'd become a western fan in no uncertain terms."

Mike's first published western was Incident at Butler's Station (1967), a neat variation on the "group of people under siege" theme, in this case a soldier, a band of outlaws en route to jail and a strong-willed woman, all of them trapped in a Wells Fargo way-station surrounded by Apaches. This book, and its successor, were both originally issued under the pseudonym "Richard Wyler".

That second book was a pursuit story entitled Savage Journey (1967). The hero here is Luke Kennick, a former soldier whose last patrol was wiped out by marauding Comanches. Tensions rise when Kennick -- now a rancher - agrees to escort the Indian chief who led the ambush across country for trial. Kennick's task is complicated when he finds and rescues a woman in the desert.

The "maverick lawman" theme surfaced in Mike's Jason Brand series, written as "Neil Hunter" and originally published in Norway by Morgan Kane publisher Bladkompaniet. Brand is a former US Marshal turned gun-for-hire, and the series contains several of Mike's most intriguing plots, such as in Devil's Gold where - in its original form - a trail of Confederate gold leads Brand to Jamaica, where he locks horns with a Chinese renegade and teams up with a British secret agent!

However, probably his best-known western series to date is that featuring Bodie the Stalker, again written as "Neil Hunter". Bodie is a bounty hunter, and with its violent and often intense plots, the series successfully recreates the mood of the old Spaghetti westerns.

Genre: Western

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Used availability for Neil Hunter's Retribution Range

Kindle Editions

January 2019 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Ballard and McCall 5: Retribution Range (A Ballard and McCall Western)
Author(s): Neil Hunter
Publisher: Piccadilly Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU