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The Iron Marshal

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,331 ratings  ·  34 reviews
He was a tough enforcer for a New York gang. But when young Tom Shanaghy made one too many enemies, he skipped town on a fast-moving freight. He landed in a small Kansas town that had big dreams, no name, and the need for an honest lawman. Tom figured that a knuckle-and-skull man from Five Points would be perfect for the job. He didn’t know that a high-stakes cattle drive ...more
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Published June 29th 2004 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1979)
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I'd quit reading L'Amour for a while, after few less-than-impressive books, but I tried again recently and the last two I've read were back up to standard. The Iron Marshal is interesting because of its first few chapters which develop the hero's backstory. Instead of the usual seasoned frontiersman we have a city-bred hero, but one whose background peculiarly fits him for the situation he lands in out West. Tom Shanahgy, an Irish immigrant boy, grew up working in the organization of a New York ...more
Gabe Mckinney
Sep 29, 2014 Gabe Mckinney rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Gabe by: Ben McKinney
I would recommend this to all. It is the perfect book for those who love action, westerns, suspense, or just good old fashioned adult books this book is best for those who have a like for westerns, action, and medium suspense. The title of this book is very appropriate because the title 'The Iron Marshall' straight forwardly tells you exactly how the main character is. He is made of iron. I feel that the characters are described perfectly by the author and that I actually felt like I knew them ...more
Jeff Anderson
Young boy comes from Ireland with his parents who unfortunately die along the way. He learns to make his way in the big city and then one day through a series of events finds himself in the West. He ends up as Marshall of a small town, solves a mystery and builds a new life where he can respect himself. Great book!
Ryan Schumerth
The Iron Marshal, by Louis L'Amour, is a book about Tom Shanaghy, an Irish immigrant from New York, who went out West to Kansas to avoid his enemies. He ended up staying there and since Rig Barrett was missing, Drako was the current marshal, who was abusing his authority. When Tom came into town, he became marshal shortly after, and had to dismiss Drako of his duties. The book kept me wondering the whole time, and the main person behind it I never would have guessed. The supposed person kept shi ...more
I'd been getting rather tired of Louis L'Amour, as his writing is its own cliché: the moralizing, the invincible hero who comes out of nowhere, the simplistic writing style, etc. I was going to give him a break, despite the generally rousing stories. I had recently noticed that his later works manage to break out of the mould. This one, from 1979, is such a one.

A man finds his calling when he takes the job of town marshal. When a gang of thugs try to take it all away from him, he perseveres agai
I read this one for the #timetoread National Readathon and am glad I did. It's been forever since I read a Louis L'Amour book and I now realize how much I missed them. This book though just about wore me out in all that was going on and the tennis match of clues, twists, and the like going on in it. It was well done. My only complaint is the flashbacks at the beginning. They were very jarring and quite anticlimactic since the reader knows the outcome and the fact the main character survives ever ...more
Douglas Patten
Growing up my father had the full set of L'amour books and had read each of them, some many times. I read a couple of them as a teenager, but cowboys weren't really my thing. Then other day at the store I saw THE IRON MARSHALL and I thought I would give it a whirl just to break from my current genre reading habits; I would have to say that it was a pretty good book. One of the things I like about L'amour is that he writes like a troubadour. His style is simple and vernacular but he does an excel ...more
I enjoyed this story of a young immigrant from the Bowery in New York who finds himself in a small western town where he quickly becomes the marshall. L'Amour spins a tale of a young man who develops skills while growing up in a tough area of the 'big city' and then finds that those skills come in handy when he finds himself in the middle of a whirlwind of hidden agendas.

I'm reading Louis L'Amour books to honor my father who loved the author and his works. I find myself enjoying the lessons that
The story follows Irish immigrant Tom Shanaghy, who grew up on the streets of New York, relying on his strength, fists, and fast draw to survive. Running from his enemies, he ends up in a small Kansas town. Their marshal has disappeared, and desperate for a new one, they offer the position to Shanaghy. He accepts and suddenly finds himself up against a desperate plot to destroy the town.
And Irish New Yorker turned cowboy: how much better can you get?!? The story is incredibly fast paced and cou
I have been a big Louis L’amour fan for a long time. I have read almost all of his books, and like them all, but this one always stuck out to me for some reason. It’s about a tough Irish kid who grows up on the streets of New York. He ends up on the wrong side of the law, and is forced to leave the city for a while. He finds himself in a frontier town, and falls into the job of marshall. Then, of course, everything goes wrong.
Having been raised in the east, but being enamored of old west history and fiction, I was fascinated when I came across this novel by Louis L'Amour of an eastern tough who finds himself transplanted to the west. He learns to make his way in that new (to him) world, solves a mystery along the way, and gets the girl in the end. Rollicking good tale, at least for a fifteen year old boy.
Dean Deters
I like this book in particular because it shows how a young man from the streets of New York City copes with finding himself in the West. L'Amour shows his breadth of knowledge in this book. His characters are interesting, and the plot has a few twists. More than enough to keep your interest.
Lan B
I think it is interesting because he is on the good side first than they turn agenst him. He is the one who is right. I thought it was a good book because it had a lot of action and you don't want to stop reading.
Michael Kennard
Read most of Louis Lamour's books when I was in my late teens and early twenties. They are important to me as they were some of the first books that got me into the reading habit. For that I shall be forever grateful
Chris Light
I really liked this. While all the tradition L'amour ethics and style are included, the story is the making of a good man from nearly irredeemable life. Well done, but then I like most of L'amours writing.
This actually was better than I had expected...I don't think I'll ever read a Louis L'Amour book ever again, but I don't regret reading it, especially since I had to do so for class.
Other than a few loose ends which are left up to the reader to tie, I enjoyed this western novel. I like the fact that L'Amour is not afraid to use a woman as his villain once in a while.
Walter Conner
Spoiler alert: The good guy wins and the bad guys lose.
Bottom line: I read for entertainment and L'Amour is definitely entertaining. A very fun, one-day read.
A good story. I think it's an interesting thing in life, how we end up in places and situations we didn't expect...and sometimes, it is exactly what we need.
Jan 10, 2009 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Louis L'amour Fans
Recommended to Alex by: Myself
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I liked the plot of the book because it was something I had never read before. The writing style was somewhat repetitive and not my favorite.
Great story. Wonderful characters. Lots of mystery before a big train heist. L'amour never disappoints.
This is a umpteenth re-read. While not one of most favorite, still a good story.
City boy becomes small town sheriff and defends it against the evil cattle rancher.
All of L'Amour's books are good, but this one is one of my favorites.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The ending left me wanting more!
Keith Slade
Pretty good, but I don't remember much. Tough marshal.
Not one of my favorites, but a good solid read.
L'Amour's usual excellence in story telling.
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Louis L'Amour was an American author. L'Amour's books, primarily Western fiction, remain enormously popular, and most have gone through multiple printings. At the time of his death all 101 of his works were in print (86 novels, 14 short-story collections and one full-length work of nonfiction) and he was considered "one of the world's most popular writers".
More about Louis L'Amour...
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“Like I say, I killed a man or two but I'm no thief. My ma raised me better.” 8 likes
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