In the past David Lavender has written books in varying categories- non-fiction and fiction at the adult level, and juveniles- and most of them have dealt competently with our pioneer west. This most recent contribution to the preservation and understanding of pioneer days in the West is a colorful, fictionalized social document set in Colorado in the early 1880's. Freed from a charge of murder through lack of evidence Johnny Ogden attempts to re-establish himself in the community by building a road to Red Mountain which will open up mineral resources in the area. The fate of Johnny and his enterprise make up the heart of the book, and in pursuit of his road he sacrifices romantic interests, home life and friendships. The usual Western ingredients are here:- Indian fights, drinking bouts, boom town life, rocketing mine shares, bank closures and runaway horses, which is not to say that this belongs in the category of what is usually termed A Western. A little overlong, perhaps, with an ending that is both anticlimactic and surprising, Red Mountain is nevertheless an authentic and well researched addition to the groaning shelves of its genre.