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Another stellar performance by a true master. With not a word extra and no extraneous element to slow the plot down, the story drives forward with all the force and inevitability of a falling redwood, the prose so stripped-down and pure as to make even Hemingway look florid. Despite the tale's apparent simplicity Leonard even manages to add an element of moral ambiguity to the genre's usually stark division between good and evil, making the already gripping story even more compelling. The remarkable thing is that Leonard's sure hand should be no less apparent in this, and other of his early Westerns, as it is in his later work. A real gem.
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