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The Key Lock Man

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,479 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
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Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 1st 1984 by Bantam (first published 1965)
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Another of the first L'Amour books I read back in junior high (it's like a reading time capsule!). Cat and mouse plot with a lot of great descriptions of the Utah and Arizona deserts. Omniscient POV, and L'Amour makes full use of it, roving in and out of every character's head to provide a complete picture of the pursued and the pursuers. Saves the climax until the last couple of pages, so this is a page turner to the very end.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I occasionally get a hankerin’ for a Western, so when I was in the Library amongst the audiobooks I came across this one, thought I’d give it a listen. So this tells the story of Matt Key-Lock (or Keelock, I guess) who is being chased by a posse for allegedly murdering another man in the town of Freedom. He is with his wife, Kristina (Kris), a native of Denmark who grew up with horses, guns and farms, plucky sort that. She had come to America as sort of a mail-order bride to Oskar Neerland, of F ...more
Cathy Elliott
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. As always, I love the illustrations of men and women, founding this country, working hard, playing fair, brave & full of integrity. I wish I'd read all his books to my children as they grew up. Along with all of Ralph Moody's wonderful tomes. So entertaining! Yet make us better for the reading.
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I am ever on the run (from anybody), I want this guy with me. Smart, smart, smart-- and wickedly funny.
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wish-shelf
I love this guy! Clever+cowboy+adarnedgoodaim=a true western.
Rod Innis
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book in the western genre.
Wilson E. Stevens Sr.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Interesting book, not real at all, but a fun read. I liked it, and would rate it good enough to read again some day. Well worth the time and effort and cost of the Kindle book.
Jason King
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read, for what it is.
Randy Grossman
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant paced with a good build up and satisfying conclusion. A typical L'Amour western! I found a little humorous how a man can walk into a saloon, see a pretty girl he never met before and tell her she was going to leave with him and they shall marry immediately, and she basically says "no problem". If that was the way romance was done in the west, power to them!
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of this book takes place in the Utah desert. Where no body lives except for Indians. This book is about a man named matt keelock. Matt keelock is being hunted by people who thought he shot there friend in the back, but he did not. Matt has a new wife and they are hiding in the desert. The men find them and shoot Matt but he is not dead. He drags himself to his wife and the men find them again but Matt kills the bad ones.

The main character is Matt Keelock. He is a cowboy. He always looks be
George K.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
Το παιχνίδι του θανάτου

Έβδομο βιβλίο του Λουίς Λ'Αμούρ που διαβάζω και ήταν και αυτό το ίδιο καλό με τα προηγούμενα.

Η ιστορία είναι αρκετά απλή αλλά ενδιαφέρουσα: Έξι άντρες της πόλης Φρίντομ κυνηγάνε τον Ματ Κήλοκ, με σκοπό να τον κρεμάσουν από το ψηλότερο δέντρο της πόλης, επειδή ο Κήλοκ φαίνεται ότι σκότωσε πισώπλατα τον Τζόνι, έναν πιστολά και κάτοικο της πόλης. Ο Ματ Κήλοκ όμως δεν είναι καθόλου εύκολο θήραμα, ξέρει καλά εκείνα τα μέρη και για λίγο παίζει μαζί τους. Και φυσικά δεν σκότωσε
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western, l-amour
This is another Louis L'Amour book that was originally written as a serial for a magazine, which means that it was published in parts and each issue of the magazine would publish a part. Serial novels (published like this were popular in the 1940's and 50's). These novels were full of action and not character development because readers wanted action and because people had to wait until the next magazine came out, there needed to be plenty of action for people to want to read the next section.

Rachel Brown
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
A perfect little western, with action, atmosphere, and a romance that doesn't suck. As is common with L'Amour, while the man, Matt Keelock, is the hero, the female lead, Kristina, is believable and tough. Not too much is made of it, but the reason she ended up in America is because she shot the man who killed her father. ("You killed my father. Prepare to die.")

The final sequence, a lengthy desert shoot out/chase/ambush, is classic: Matt and Kris have been separated, Matt has been shot, the bad
Near the end of high school and throughout most of my undergraduate years I was a big fan of Louis L'Amour. I still consider myself a big fan, but having read all his books there was nothing left for me to read: Or so I thought. I came across The Key-Lock Man in the library the other day and picked it up.

The solitary rider did not fear his aloneness, for he had the companionship of the mind. He had strength also, patience beyond that of most men, and some knowledge of the wild lands into which
I enjoy reading a L'Amour western every couple of months since they are short, light reading and most often entertaining. This was an exception. L'Amour books often have a method in that they have a handsome, rough, gunslinging man, generally a few bad guys, a pretty woman to protect and often gold hidden somewhere. This book fit that puzzle perfectly and added a few too many fluffy values than normal. L'Amour's greatest gift, in my opinion is how elegantly he describes the west, its people, its ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy reading Westerns. I've read quite a few L'Amour novels and normally enjoy most of them. I've rated many of them at 5 stars. This one was a little bit too predictable for a 5 star rating. I suppose if you've never read Louis L'Amour before then you might have a much better opinion of this novel. This Western is just too formulaic to deserve 5 stars. If you've never read Louis L'Amour before, do yourself a huge favor and read "Jubal Sackett" (or any of the Sackett novels). While "Th ...more
Ken X.
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pleasantly surprised by this early L'Amour effort, although I must admit that I selected it simply because of its' short length--since I'm trying to catch up on my yearly reading goal. The story has strong character development, interesting and descriptive settings and an exciting conclusion. I'm always impressed with the little tidbits of history that L'Amour sprinkles throughout his stories and this is no exception. Highly recommend L'Amours auto-biography "Education of a Wandering Man"-where ...more
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Matt Keylock lives in the Arizona/Utah/Mexico area He wants to settle and raise cows and horses but a little trouble comes his way from trigger pulling tough guys who will shoot you if they don't like what you look like. Trying to start his dream, he meets Kristina. Oscar Neerland thinks Kristina is his and when she decides to marry Keylock, the trouble combines. Love Louis L'Amour adventures. His description of country and good ole morals keeps me reading more.
Oct 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. It was a decent read. Louis L'Amour does a whole lot more telling than showing, i.e., he tells us about a man's character instead of it coming out in the story. He spins a good yarn but in only 135 pages it's hard for the myriad of characters to really develop. They are archetypal placeholders for the most part. A quick, fun read if you like Westerns but not terribly stimulating or engrossing.
Jun 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-western
This is a good little read so far. I really and truly like one theme in this book and that is that sometimes those seeking "justice" don't always know the truth behind "what went down". Those who may be accused may not truly have done wrong. Things may not be as they seem, ... and in the end? The guy gets the girl -- just the way any "feelie-good" book should be!
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, western
Western - Matt Keelock rescues Kristina from Neerland, an abusive fiance who vows revenge, and marries her himself. He kills Johnny, an argumentative local rancher, in a fair fight but no one believes Johnny could have been beaten to the draw. Now as Keelock and Kristina trail a herd of wild horses they are being tracked by a posse and by the vengeful Neerland.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story, if just a touch far-fetched for me. The "romance" seemed to detract from the story, and the hero was almost too "invincible". I got through it, and enjoyed it overall, but it's certainly not my favorite L'Amour novel. And with the condition of the brittle, delicate pages in my copy, I'll probably never read this one again.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Louis L'Amour story. Of course we love the hero--we always do--but I liked that the girl had a larger role than usual. I also liked the extra sub-story with Neill as its hero. It kind of felt like L'Amour was setting up Neill to be the protagonist in a later book.
Eduardo Infante
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As good as any piece by Louis L'Amour.

I have to admit it. I'm a Louis L'Amour fan and so my opinion is not free of prejudice. I love westerns and you can't find any more faithful to the western spirit than the ones he wrote.
I thought the book was interesting but was a little dull. The plot of the story was pretty good though.At the end of the story with the horse chase, that was great.I would recommend it to an older friend.
Nat Rowley
hmmm... not really interested yet... i have to read it for english... but for a required.. it's not that bad... but i'm still waiting for the big sha-bang for me to jump in my seat and praise it... probably not going to happen... but i can always hope... right?
Teigen Grubl
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book because I love almost everything Louis L'Amour writes. It was full of action and suspense. When it got to the good parts of the story it was hard for me to put down since I enjoyed it so much. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes L'Amour's work.
Sep 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
read some time in 1976
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a quick and easy read. Campfire kinda story.
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I need a no-brainer,fun, quick read I can always count on a good old Louis. Plus, these are the only books my father-in-law owns, so that is what I read when we go home to visit.
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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...