I have not read all that many westerns. LONESOME DOVE comes to mind. THE SISTER BROTHERS is another. A few years ago, Ed Gorman sent me two of his.
GHOST TOWN was a great story, well-told, with interesting characters in an unfamiliar setting. Don't let the "notion" of reading a western fool you. This story could have been set in many different venues.
The book takes places in a small Wisconsin town overrun by both malaria and a few suspicious types who run the bank and the town. It's the story of Bryce Lamont, who comes here to get his share of the take from a jewelry theft that put him in prison. (Do you see how similar this is to a crime story set in say, Chicago?) What he finds in that Wisconsin town will lead him down a bloody trail, jeopardizing himself and the people he loves.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot here, but let me say this--nearly every character in Ghost Town is complex--neither all good or bad, and this includes, of course, the protagonist. Although there is a lot of action in the novel, it never feels overdone. There is plenty of time to look around at the scenery, the clothes, medical practices, woman's issues, the news of the late 1800s in a small mid-western town. Despite this, the book is succinct, fast-moving and exciting.
Its greatest asset is-- this book has heart. You can feel it beating on every page. And that's not easy to pull off in any genre of writing. Grit and heart in one slim volume is a gift.
Ed Gorman had written dozens and dozens of book and edited many others. You can find him at http://newimprovedgorman.blogspot.com. Or on Amazon, of course.
You can read more reviews at Barrie Summy's blog.