Hunted Gun


160 pages
ISBN 0-88965-053-5





Reviewed by Karl Burdak

Karl Burak was a solicitor in North Vancouver, B.C.


The hero of this western possesses an unqualified commitment to religion as well as the quiet strength, rugged character, and physical and mental superiority of the great western hero. He is an expert gunfighter, a compassionate man, a big brother to a trigger-happy nephew, a methodical detective, and a symbol of law and justice. It is around this man that Bernard Palmer weaves his “inspirational saga of the Old West.”

The story sees John Breck, originally Breckenridge, professional gunfighter turned rancher and man of God, unravel the mystery surrounding a miner’s death and set right the ownership of a mining claim stolen by an unscrupulous banker and his secret partner who is unmasked only by Breck’s own memories of past events in other towns and his careful study of the limited facts. The result is a good whodunit. It will be a rare reader who can spot the villain. If one looks for a flaw, one may find it to a degree in the personality and deeds of our hero. He does not have quite the aura of the great gunfighter hero. He does not entirely draw the reader to him to make each exciting moment the reader’s moment. He is not Shane. It may be his added dimension diffuses him and distracts the reader. It may be his victories are subdued. In spite of the fighting and shooting, there is little blood. It may be that we readers have come to demand the particulars of violence, which are not really present in this western. But even without these things, we have an easily read book, and a reasonably good one with which to escape to a time and place in the old west.


Palmer, Bernard, “Hunted Gun,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,