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Wild Justice: A Page Murdock Novel    by Loren D. Estleman order for
Wild Justice
by Loren D. Estleman
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Though I've read and enjoyed many of Loren D. Estleman's hard-boiled Amos Walker mysteries and have always appreciated Westerns, I somehow missed his Page Murdock books. This thirteenth in the series, Wild Justice, is rich in atmosphere, bringing the context to vibrant life.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Page Murdock has worked for Judge Harlan Blackthorne, dispensing tough justice for decades in the territory of Montana. Now, in the spring of 1896, the Judge has suddenly died. His last order to Murdock is that he should accompany his widow and funeral train across the continent to Delaware.

Reluctantly, Page complies. As the train moves slowly - and is greeted everywhere by Blackthorne's favorite ballad, 'After the Ball' - Murdock reflects on how he first encountered the Judge and on many of the cases he worked for him, 'coddling regrets like the old man I was getting to be.'

Though there is a murder mystery (also a femme fatale and a hot air balloon) here too, what I enjoyed about Wild Justice was the historical frontier panorama it presented and the embedded short stories of Murdock's work over the years, plus his later judgment of his own actions. Don't miss this one!

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