REESE SULLIVAN – Deadly Like a .45. Ace Double M-140, paperback original; 1st printing, 1966. Published back-to-back with Last Stage to Gomorrah, by Barry Cord.

   The first story by Giles A Lutz (1910-1982) to have been published in the western pulp magazines may have been “Square in the Saddle,” which appeared in the July 1945 issue of Western Story Magazine. (Thanks to the online Western Fiction Index for this information.)

   From the mid-50s on, according to his entry on Wikipedia, Lutz not only wrote under his own name, but he also used Wade Everett, Alex Hawk, Hunter Ingram, Reese Sullivan, and Gene Thompson as bylines for the huge amount of western fiction he produced, mostly in the form of paperback novels.

   Even though it barely qualifies as a novel — Deadly Like a .45 is only 132 pages long, and there’s only one story line — it’s a good one, and in it, it’s up to Gard Hubach, deputy marshal for a small town in eastern Oregon, to be one of the few to stand up for what’s right.

   It’s this way. Breck Costigan, owner of the large ranch not far out of town figures he owns the whole town as well, and when a small farmer rustles one of his cattle, he thinks nothing of having his crew break him out of jail for a good old-fashioned lynching.

   The sheriff is in Costigan’s pocket. The only one who will stand with Gard is Dolph Emery, the town blacksmith. The only other important character is Emery’s daughter, Martha. Lutz writing as as Reese Sullivan manages to wring all of the drama out of this fairly standard set-up and make the reader wish for more.

   It’s also a dark, violent tale on more than one occasion, surprisingly so. Short, and while not a deep story, nonetheless an effective one.

PostScript:   The other half of this Ace Double, a story by Barry Cord, a pen name of Peter Germano, also a western pulp writer of some standing, is not nearly as successful. The length is the same, and both the plot and the number of characters are a lot more ambitious, but what it boils down to is this: A stagecoach carrying a fortune in gold disappears and a mine played out long ago suddenly starts producing high grade ore again. Much action ensues, but only in peripheral over-busy fashion.