The 11 stories collected here testify to the success of Steve Frazee, whose avowed aim, as stated in the biographical sketch on the jacket of his first major novel, Shining Mountains, was to “write honest Westerns.”
Honest presentation is only one characteristic of Frazee’s well-crafted tales. He tells a convincing, satisfying, and unusual story even when employing stock Western situations. A major strength is his understanding of the nuances of character, of how people are motivated, of the good and bad within each person, and of the conflicts between man and his environment. Drawing upon his years in the mountains of Colorado, he can vividly and realistically depict a variety of Western settings and do so in such a way that the settings assume a character of their own. The eerie Big Ghost Basin of “The Fire Killer,” the high mountain country of “My Brother Down There,” and the vast northern plains of “Great Medicine” confront us through his descriptions.
About the Author
Bill Pronzini introduces this collection with a thoughtful discussion of Frazee and his work, placing Frazee among the leading authors of popular Western fiction. He also deals with the most frequent criticisms of the work.