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The Rider of Lost Creek

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Lance Kilkenny has a debt to pay, and he isn’t about to let the friend who saved his life go down in a range war. But when Kilkenny tries to stop the fighting, he finds there’s more at stake than land or wire. Whoever is stirring up trouble has big ideas for the Live Oak country—and an army of hired guns to back them up. Nita Riordan, the beautiful and fiery owner of the A Lance Kilkenny has a debt to pay, and he isn’t about to let the friend who saved his life go down in a range war. But when Kilkenny tries to stop the fighting, he finds there’s more at stake than land or wire. Whoever is stirring up trouble has big ideas for the Live Oak country—and an army of hired guns to back them up. Nita Riordan, the beautiful and fiery owner of the Apple Canyon Saloon, warns Lance that the mysterious man orchestrating the conflict wants him dead. Lance realizes that if he doesn’t watch his step, he’ll pay the debt he owes with his own blood.


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Lance Kilkenny has a debt to pay, and he isn’t about to let the friend who saved his life go down in a range war. But when Kilkenny tries to stop the fighting, he finds there’s more at stake than land or wire. Whoever is stirring up trouble has big ideas for the Live Oak country—and an army of hired guns to back them up. Nita Riordan, the beautiful and fiery owner of the A Lance Kilkenny has a debt to pay, and he isn’t about to let the friend who saved his life go down in a range war. But when Kilkenny tries to stop the fighting, he finds there’s more at stake than land or wire. Whoever is stirring up trouble has big ideas for the Live Oak country—and an army of hired guns to back them up. Nita Riordan, the beautiful and fiery owner of the Apple Canyon Saloon, warns Lance that the mysterious man orchestrating the conflict wants him dead. Lance realizes that if he doesn’t watch his step, he’ll pay the debt he owes with his own blood.

30 review for The Rider of Lost Creek

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rizwan

    All three Kilkenny westerns are my favorite, but the first one The Rider of Lost Creek is still THE BEST and one of the very best western novels I've ever read in my life. Aside for the Sacketts, Lance Kilkenny is my most favorite hero of Wild West. He perfectly embodied the 'Lone Drifter Gunfighter' persona in the books that Clint Eastwood so wonderfully immortalized in films. But Kilkenny was not "The Man With No Name", because he's not just a nameless, anchorless, mysterious tough guy. He had All three Kilkenny westerns are my favorite, but the first one The Rider of Lost Creek is still THE BEST and one of the very best western novels I've ever read in my life. Aside for the Sacketts, Lance Kilkenny is my most favorite hero of Wild West. He perfectly embodied the 'Lone Drifter Gunfighter' persona in the books that Clint Eastwood so wonderfully immortalized in films. But Kilkenny was not "The Man With No Name", because he's not just a nameless, anchorless, mysterious tough guy. He had a legendary name throughout the West, he had a past, He had ties, he had friends who would get his help whenever they needed, and they would also help him in turn. And most of all, even if in the end he was still a lone drifter who just couldn't ignore the call of the wild... a beautiful wonderful woman loved him and waited for him, and someday, somewhere, he will return to that woman to repay her love. Yes, I'm just a hopeless romantic, and I freaking LOVED the unforgettable relationship of Lance Kilkenny-Nita Riordan!

  2. 4 out of 5

    John

    A nice enjoyable quick read. Lance Kilkenny manages to get into a fist fight, shoot several bad guys and save his friends farm. He even manages not to kill the insane guy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Naori

    I’m attempting to read a few of my Fa’s westerns in exchange for him expanding his horizons with my books. I admit I was surprised by the intricacies of the plot, but I was also surprised that the lead female role was an independent entrepreneur and remained so. Overall, it was a compelling read and L’Amour is a much more talented writer than I expected. The indigenous violence I feared also wasn’t present, and while it was your typical “shoot ‘em up”, it was more complex and had more thought pu I’m attempting to read a few of my Fa’s westerns in exchange for him expanding his horizons with my books. I admit I was surprised by the intricacies of the plot, but I was also surprised that the lead female role was an independent entrepreneur and remained so. Overall, it was a compelling read and L’Amour is a much more talented writer than I expected. The indigenous violence I feared also wasn’t present, and while it was your typical “shoot ‘em up”, it was more complex and had more thought put into it than that. Honestly, it wasn’t really a bad read

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Taylor

    This was an enjoyable, fast read as most Louis L'Amour books are. It is an interesting story because I have read at least one short story version of this novel which he kept some parts of and abandoned others. Kilkenny is a bit larger than life compared to L'Amour's other heroes, a man with significantly fewer flaws and more abilities than his typical character. Kilkenny responds to a request for help from a man he owes his life to, and rides into a messy range war that is developing. He spends m This was an enjoyable, fast read as most Louis L'Amour books are. It is an interesting story because I have read at least one short story version of this novel which he kept some parts of and abandoned others. Kilkenny is a bit larger than life compared to L'Amour's other heroes, a man with significantly fewer flaws and more abilities than his typical character. Kilkenny responds to a request for help from a man he owes his life to, and rides into a messy range war that is developing. He spends most of the book cleverly avoiding and spoiling fights, primarily interested in stopping the range war and finding out who is behind the trouble and what he has to gain. Overall its pretty well written if a bit certain in its conclusion, and L'Amour included a couple of subplots he disposed of in a few paragraphs abruptly at the end like he'd run out of time and just wanted them out of the way. Still, a very enjoyable and comfortable read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    After having such great success with several of L'Amour's other books I was very surprised that I didn't care for this one. I really enjoyed the narrator but couldn't connect with any of the characters the way I always have. After having such great success with several of L'Amour's other books I was very surprised that I didn't care for this one. I really enjoyed the narrator but couldn't connect with any of the characters the way I always have.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

    Another great one from L'Amour. Lots of twists and turns at the end. Another great one from L'Amour. Lots of twists and turns at the end.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Dunsky

    A short and effective Western with plenty of action. George Guidall narrates the audiobook and, as usual, does so with excellence.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eddie

    This was my first ever western. It was like watching a black and white on the TV……. I visualized a lot of this. If you can make me to feel dusty from my couch , then my visualization was up to par. I give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Happy Trails🏇

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rick Davis

    Louis L'Amour can spin a good yarn. I might come back and read the next Kilkenny book some day. Louis L'Amour can spin a good yarn. I might come back and read the next Kilkenny book some day.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jim Barber

    Louis L’Amour is an incredible writer. He creates characters you want to know more about. As I understand, this is the first in a trilogy. I’ll be reading the next two!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    I can finally say that I've read a Louis L'Amour book! This wasn't a bad western, but I haven't read too much in the genre to compare it to. This standalone follows Lance Kilkenny as he comes into town to hep a friend out. He's known as the fastest gunmen in the west, but most don't even know what he looks like because he never stays in any place long. He discovers that his friend Mort Davis needs help securing a waterhole from two wealthy cattleman who are claiming it as their own. As the bodie I can finally say that I've read a Louis L'Amour book! This wasn't a bad western, but I haven't read too much in the genre to compare it to. This standalone follows Lance Kilkenny as he comes into town to hep a friend out. He's known as the fastest gunmen in the west, but most don't even know what he looks like because he never stays in any place long. He discovers that his friend Mort Davis needs help securing a waterhole from two wealthy cattleman who are claiming it as their own. As the bodies start piling up, it appears that a full on range war is about to engulf the whole territory, if only Kilkenny could keep his mind on work and his thoughts off the local saloon owner.Fast paced and quick, there is a small mystery that gives resolved in the end and lots of gunfights and stolen kisses from pretty women. Forgettable but fun.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    It’s thanks to the library adding the audiobook to OverDrive that this one came across my radar sooner rather than later. This proved to be another enjoyable western story for me. The impression it’s left is that the Kilkenny series will be a good, if not a great, one. I’m not quite sure when I’ll pick up the second book, but there’s no doubting that I’m looking forward to it when I do.

  13. 4 out of 5

    wally

    yippee ki aye! riders of the storm.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Havebooks Willread

    Some days you just have to read a good ole Louis L'Amour book! This one happens to be the place where I first saw the name Destry (the name of my firstborn son--who was quite disappointed that he was only a minor character who was killed off). "Destry was a wonderful fellow. Everyone liked him, and that's what made his murder so strange. He was a very good man with a gun, and one of the best riders and ropers around. Everyone made a lot of Des, but he was a very regular fellow in spite of it" (12 Some days you just have to read a good ole Louis L'Amour book! This one happens to be the place where I first saw the name Destry (the name of my firstborn son--who was quite disappointed that he was only a minor character who was killed off). "Destry was a wonderful fellow. Everyone liked him, and that's what made his murder so strange. He was a very good man with a gun, and one of the best riders and ropers around. Everyone made a lot of Des, but he was a very regular fellow in spite of it" (129). "This is a violent time. But if only bad men could use guns the world would be in a sorry state. We need such men as you, men who know when to use and when not to use guns, men who will carry them not as a threat but as a protection for themselves and others" (160).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    I thought L'Amour would be a good author to pick up at this time of the year, a time when everything is too busy and crazy and I did not want to dive into a large, complex,intricate novel, a palette cleanser if you will. I do not read westerns all that often but when the mood strikes it's a good thing to dive into - the Western is the mythology of the States, the history, the legends, the tales. This one introduces us to Kilkenny, our hero gunslinger. He's in town to stop a range war and while he I thought L'Amour would be a good author to pick up at this time of the year, a time when everything is too busy and crazy and I did not want to dive into a large, complex,intricate novel, a palette cleanser if you will. I do not read westerns all that often but when the mood strikes it's a good thing to dive into - the Western is the mythology of the States, the history, the legends, the tales. This one introduces us to Kilkenny, our hero gunslinger. He's in town to stop a range war and while he's at it maybe he can solve the mystery of all the unsolved deaths. Yes, every character is paper thin and yes, you know exactly how this was going to end within the first chapter but L'Amour is such a good writer that it's an enjoyable book anyway (Yes my rating of three stars means I liked the book, it was good).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    I can't believe I never read these Louis L'Amour books until now, this doubles as my review for Hondo which is pretty much a perfect western story. They really are fine pageturners. You can feel the pace of them but it doesn't make it any less fun to see the denouement coming, feel the slow burn, and watch the good guy ride off into the sunset. Once upon a time I looked down my nose at this sort of thing, but now I am less of a snob and ok with just enjoying a book. If you like fist fights, gunp I can't believe I never read these Louis L'Amour books until now, this doubles as my review for Hondo which is pretty much a perfect western story. They really are fine pageturners. You can feel the pace of them but it doesn't make it any less fun to see the denouement coming, feel the slow burn, and watch the good guy ride off into the sunset. Once upon a time I looked down my nose at this sort of thing, but now I am less of a snob and ok with just enjoying a book. If you like fist fights, gunplay, horses, range wars, and homicidal maniacs, this one (The Rider) is a can't miss.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laur

    One of Louis L’Amour’s best. Plenty of action in a time where justice wasn’t necessarily delivered by law. Kilkenny, the main protagonist, is a tough and deadly gunslinger who let's out justice when it's needed, but he’s also a fair and likeable character. One line in the book was so humorous, I laughed out loud. (He also can put a haughty woman in place, just by the use of some well chosen words!) However, this book is not comedy, it classifies as true western grit from a bygone era. One of Louis L’Amour’s best. Plenty of action in a time where justice wasn’t necessarily delivered by law. Kilkenny, the main protagonist, is a tough and deadly gunslinger who let's out justice when it's needed, but he’s also a fair and likeable character. One line in the book was so humorous, I laughed out loud. (He also can put a haughty woman in place, just by the use of some well chosen words!) However, this book is not comedy, it classifies as true western grit from a bygone era.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jacinta Meredith

    Okay, the level of writing is probably more like three stars, but I gave it four because it was so entertaining. I used to wonder about the old dime novels that older books refer to, and I'm pretty sure I now know what they were like. Okay, the level of writing is probably more like three stars, but I gave it four because it was so entertaining. I used to wonder about the old dime novels that older books refer to, and I'm pretty sure I now know what they were like.

  19. 4 out of 5

    David Zimmerman

    It's Louis L'Amour. Gunfights, fistfights, and the good guys win in the end. It's Louis L'Amour. Gunfights, fistfights, and the good guys win in the end.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jay Wright

    This is a Lance Kilkenny novel. Kilkenny goes to Texas to help out an old friend, Mort. Kilkenny meets Nita Riordan. Kilkenny is one of L'Amour's classic characters. Slow to fight and never kills unless necessary. Interesting, there is a psychopath in this one (usually they are just opportunists). If you like his writing, you will like this one. This is a Lance Kilkenny novel. Kilkenny goes to Texas to help out an old friend, Mort. Kilkenny meets Nita Riordan. Kilkenny is one of L'Amour's classic characters. Slow to fight and never kills unless necessary. Interesting, there is a psychopath in this one (usually they are just opportunists). If you like his writing, you will like this one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    I'm not normally a big fan of westerns, hence why my family (who have all read pretty much every book by this guy) hadn't convinced me to pick up one of Mr. L'Amour's stories. Until now. (When you're on a roadtrip with friends, sometimes you get outvoted.) And I will admit that I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I can clearly see why he's such a well-loved author, he quite impressed me with his ability to keep me invested in the story. I was anxious to find out how things were going to go and hoping t I'm not normally a big fan of westerns, hence why my family (who have all read pretty much every book by this guy) hadn't convinced me to pick up one of Mr. L'Amour's stories. Until now. (When you're on a roadtrip with friends, sometimes you get outvoted.) And I will admit that I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I can clearly see why he's such a well-loved author, he quite impressed me with his ability to keep me invested in the story. I was anxious to find out how things were going to go and hoping that it wouldn't end with my favorite characters dead! :) Full of vivid descriptions and enough tension to keep me on the edge of my seat, it surprised me into laughter several times as well. Perhaps I shall read another L'Amour book someday!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian Rogers

    I'm on the fence on this, between 3 and 4 stars. I decided it was time to read some L'Amour based on a friend's reviews of his works and snagged this off a discount shelf. It was good in a lot of ways, but also deeply odd in others. There was a lot of telling going on in that our hero has a vast legendary backstory that other people keep referencing, he keeps culling through in his head to figure out why the guy who wants to kill him wants to kill him and those parts were... OK, but felt like th I'm on the fence on this, between 3 and 4 stars. I decided it was time to read some L'Amour based on a friend's reviews of his works and snagged this off a discount shelf. It was good in a lot of ways, but also deeply odd in others. There was a lot of telling going on in that our hero has a vast legendary backstory that other people keep referencing, he keeps culling through in his head to figure out why the guy who wants to kill him wants to kill him and those parts were... OK, but felt like they went on a little too long and weren't the best ways to present the information. The perpetual musings on the nature of the range, the iconic characters of the west and the western... again there was just a little too much of it. On the other hand, there was a good mystery, strong verisimilitude, and lots of really nice bits. It ends up getting the slightly higher rating just because it was a good example of how to do a Gumshoe game as a western - the hero rides into town, finds a mystery, collects clues, puts them together. It felt like a good, well done short western RPG campaign. I expect I need to find more of L'Amour's earlier work.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Kilkenny was one of L'Amour's recurring characters. This is a book about him, one of the fastest of the gunfighters. I'm not overly enamored of the Kilkenny character but still this is a pretty good book. Kilkenny was one of L'Amour's recurring characters. This is a book about him, one of the fastest of the gunfighters. I'm not overly enamored of the Kilkenny character but still this is a pretty good book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Lance Kilkenny gets caught in a Texas range war as he tries to repay a debt to a friend. Nita Riodan warns Kilkenny of a mysterious stranger who wants to kill him. Lance is right in the middle of a powder keg ready to explode.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Lance Kilkenny is a man who wants to be left alone. Nita Riordan is a good woman who inherited a saloon. The two become friends along with her half-Indian guard. The two get caught up in a range war.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Decent commute read. Finally read the prequel to "The Mountain Valley War", which details how Brockman's brother was killed and how Trent knows Nita Riordan. Decent commute read. Finally read the prequel to "The Mountain Valley War", which details how Brockman's brother was killed and how Trent knows Nita Riordan.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kamas Kirian

    I have a paperback copy as well as the audiobook. This review will be about the audiobook version. This western, with a bit of a murder mystery aspect to it as well, is set in the Texas-Mexico border country. Kilkenny is the only well developed character. Rusty is a nice addition, and some of the other minor characters are somewhat quirky and kinda fun. The story is paced well. There's not a whole lot of downtime throughout the novel. In places it careens from one battle to another with barely a I have a paperback copy as well as the audiobook. This review will be about the audiobook version. This western, with a bit of a murder mystery aspect to it as well, is set in the Texas-Mexico border country. Kilkenny is the only well developed character. Rusty is a nice addition, and some of the other minor characters are somewhat quirky and kinda fun. The story is paced well. There's not a whole lot of downtime throughout the novel. In places it careens from one battle to another with barely a breath, making seem a little too hectic at times. The resolution of the two aspects of the story, who's behind pushing the range war, and the side story of who's been murdering people in the area over the years, comes out in the hero's favor (of course it does. This is novel written in the late 1940s (my audiobook says the copyright is from 1947. I'll need to dig out my paperback edition to see what it says, or find my dad's edition, assuming he still has it, that I first read in junior high. I see on here it says the first printing was from 1976, but I don't know if that's correct. It makes more sense to me that it was written in the 40s since "Kilkenny" came out in the 50s) before the anti-hero trope really hit it's stride in the US. The audiobook was ok. But the narrator had some odd pauses while speaking sometimes making it difficult to stay in the story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anderson Rearick III

    Westerns had become largely a thing of the past by the time I was a child and yet I owned a black cowboy hat (several) an air rifle shotgun (several) and a pair of holstered revolvers. My imaginary friend was a cowboy. And I am told I spent hours on my spring-powered riding horse. And yet I do not recall watching TV westerns--by 1964 the space race had kicked in with vigor. I suspect that the reason for this is that my dad loved westerns. And he loved Louis L'Amour. Now that I am in my 60s I am Westerns had become largely a thing of the past by the time I was a child and yet I owned a black cowboy hat (several) an air rifle shotgun (several) and a pair of holstered revolvers. My imaginary friend was a cowboy. And I am told I spent hours on my spring-powered riding horse. And yet I do not recall watching TV westerns--by 1964 the space race had kicked in with vigor. I suspect that the reason for this is that my dad loved westerns. And he loved Louis L'Amour. Now that I am in my 60s I am uncovering the fountainhead of his idea of being a man. And that is a central quality of this book: maleness. The Rider of Lost Creek introduces the character of Kilkenny, a wandering well-read cowboy who is dangerous to his enemies but loyal to his friends. He is strong barroom fighter and renowned gunslinger (gunfights and fisticuffs abound in this book) but he does not want fame and usually tries to draw as little attention to himself as possible. In many ways, he fits the chivalric code of being a gentleman in peace and a terror in battle. I won't get into the archetypal quality of never being part of a community but being its savior. But all of that is here as well. One interesting point: Kilkenny likes women, but he also seems to fear them. L'Amour portrays women as being attractive and his hero longs for the home they represent, but he is as he puts it "a wild thing" and needs to be free. All the women in this story are attractive, and there seems to be the representative of what C S Lewis called the divine and infernal Venus, but they are not well developed. Instead, they represent an alternative to the life Kilkenny has embraced.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    This is my second L’Amour read and it was far better than my first (The Man From Skibereen) which I felt was so lackluster, it nearly caused me to drop L’Amour entirely, but I decided to give him another go, and I’m glad I did. Look, it’s a very short read—200 pages, which I did in two days, and sometimes it can read a little pulpy: A bullet skipped past his cheek! But the prose here is sneakily beautiful and smooth and was actually a joy to read, and the story was simple enough and it was fun. This is my second L’Amour read and it was far better than my first (The Man From Skibereen) which I felt was so lackluster, it nearly caused me to drop L’Amour entirely, but I decided to give him another go, and I’m glad I did. Look, it’s a very short read—200 pages, which I did in two days, and sometimes it can read a little pulpy: A bullet skipped past his cheek! But the prose here is sneakily beautiful and smooth and was actually a joy to read, and the story was simple enough and it was fun. However, I was not blown away, and sometimes it was a touch hard to follow, but not enough to dampen the experience entirely—though a little less convolution would’ve bumped this up to a 3.5 for me. But overall, I’m definitely curious to check out more of his work (we’ll see if I read all 100 of his books. Maybe not) as I’ve been on a semi western kick lately, thanks to blood meridian and lonesome dove. Anyway, I don’t think you can go wrong with this. It’s a nice, easy weekend read that takes you back to the old west with saloons and six shooters and horses and deserts and bar brawls and all that. Check it out.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shubes

    I’ve been such a lifelong, diehard fan of Louis l’Amour that I almost feel guilty writing this review. But I have to say this book was just too over-the-top, roll-your-eyes unbelievable. Ironically, I am a huge fan of the Marvel comics movies, and as such, I love the “unbeatable superhero” characters…but the lead character in this novel – the first of the Killkenny novels – was basically an unstoppable, one-man superhero who wore a 10 gallon hat instead of a cape, and rode a horse named Buck, ins I’ve been such a lifelong, diehard fan of Louis l’Amour that I almost feel guilty writing this review. But I have to say this book was just too over-the-top, roll-your-eyes unbelievable. Ironically, I am a huge fan of the Marvel comics movies, and as such, I love the “unbeatable superhero” characters…but the lead character in this novel – the first of the Killkenny novels – was basically an unstoppable, one-man superhero who wore a 10 gallon hat instead of a cape, and rode a horse named Buck, instead of a Batmobile. The entire novel in and of itself apparently was not enough to paint the protagonist as a “hard as nails“, calloused, unfeeling “my destiny is to rid the west of crime“ superhero; even the closing had to splash a bit more paint on him to reveal what a god-forsaken, empty, miserable “woe-is-me” life the poor guy was forced to live. Short summary: This was probably great when I read it as a 15-year-old kid, but I was glad when I turned the final cover on this one yesterday. Sorry, Louis, but make ‘em real. Please. 🙄

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