Beyond the Great Snow Mountains
From the American West to the Siberian coast, from Hollywood to the boxing ring, here are timeless tales of war, mystery, romance, crime, and punishment as only Louis L'Amour can tell them.
These stories are vintage L'Amour:
• A hard-bitten cattle driver is pitted against a man trying to steal his woman, the disappearance of a thousand head of cattle, and a plot to frame him for murder. . . .
• A private eye visits a remote mining town on a case involving a sexy widow, an uneasy lawman, and a fortune in gold buried in an abandoned mine shaft. . . .
• A country boy with a good right hand must fight not only his vicious opponent in the ring but the ruthless gangsters who'll do anything for profit-even commit cold-blooded murder. . . .
• A young woman stranded in an isolated harbor must survive the wilderness and a brutal battle of wits with a sadistic fortune hunter. . . .
Here is the trademark blend of action, suspense, historical detail, and unforgettable characters that have made Louis L'Amour one of the world's most extraordinary writers.
Written in the 1940s and '50s, the 10 stories in this collection, none previously published in book form, come complete with curvy Hopper-like heroines "shaped to please" whose "eyes you could lose yourself in." The heroes--boxers, detectives and gunslinging cowboys--sleuth, shoot and slug their way valiantly through plots that seem like dress rehearsals for the full-blown L'Amour novels. Surprisingly, there is just one true western, a melodramatic horse opera loaded with cattle rustlers, gunfighters and hayseed dialogue. "Meeting at Falmouth," an unconvincing historical fiction, imagines a proud and tragic Benedict Arnold on a rainy night in 1794. "The Money Punch" and "Sideshow Champion" make prizefighting (an early occupation of L'Amour's) the theater for drama, suspense and moral conflict as ambition calls the loyalty and honesty of two young boxers into question. The collection's most successful story, "Under the Hanging Wall," is a clever whodunit with a chiseled gumshoe investigating a murder in a California mining town. Smart foreshadowing and snappy plotting reveal L'Amour to be a skilled mystery writer. Though not sophisticated psychologically, L'Amour's brassy women and dusty men keep the action of these cinematic stories hot. Entertaining and of interest to the devotees of L'Amour's 100-plus books, these adventure tales offer their share of the high drama L'Amour is famous for. Three more collections of yet-unpublished work will follow. FYI: Louis L'Amour, who wrote 90 novels, was the only novelist to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. There are more than 260 million copies of his books in print.