Archive for the ‘Wild West’ Category

WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison

Visit the website for the National Park Service and you will find that the Elwha River Restoration project is a key one for the Olympic National Park in Washington state. “Elwha River Restoration will restore the river to its natural free-flowing state, allowing all five species of Pacific salmon and other anadromous fish to once again reach habitat and spawning grounds,” the project literature explains.

It is with this kernel of truth that writer Jonathan Evison spins a grand tale in his new novel, West of Here. The novel essentially looks at environmental decisions made during the late 1800s, when the American frontier moved rapidly west, and land grabs were in full swing—and the consequences of those same decisions more than a hundred years on.

February 16, 2011 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Facing History, US Northwest, Wild West

THE TERROR OF LIVING by Urban Waite

A provocative thriller will fasten a reader to the proverbial edge of the seat, either by laying a trail of clues to “whodunit” or leading us on a mad and oscillating cat-and-mouse chase through the landscape of the novel. In the case of Urban Waite’s contemporary, reflective and rousing cat-and-mouse debut, I was glued to the pages of perilous pursuit and quickened by the torn and haunted rogue heroes–Deputy Bobby Drake, and ex-convict and owner of a struggling horse farm, Phil Hunt.

February 7, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Posted in: Debut Novel, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Northwest, Wild West

THE BORDER LORDS by T. Jefferson Parker

In his fourth Charlie Hood thriller, three-time Edgar winner Parker continues to mine the violent drug and arms trafficking over the Mexico/California border. Hood, 32, an L.A. Sheriff’s Department officer, has been on loan to the ATF for 15 months, assigned to drug operations in this “often infernal, often violent, often beautiful desert.” It’s a place Hood has come to love – and fear.

This time out the central plot concerns an undercover ATF agent, Sean Ozburn, who seems to have gone berserk. Early one morning, while his team (which includes Hood) is monitoring a trio of cartel-affiliated teen killers in a rented safe house, owned by the ATF, the cameras suddenly go dark and all three boys die in a hail of bullets.

February 5, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: California, Mexico, Sleuths Series, Wild West, y Award Winning Author

EXTRA INDIANS by Eric Gansworth

EXTRA INDIANS, the latest tour de force from Eric Gansworth, is a rollicking, engrossing, and big-hearted novel that defies expectations at every hair-raising turn.

Tommy Jack McMorsey – a West Texas flatlands native, Vietnam vet, flawed husband and father, and long haul driver – travels from Texas to northern Minnesota annually to watch the meteor showers and wish upon the stars. But on one cold night, he chances upon a deluded Japanese tourist who is searching for the buried ransom money from the Coen brothers’ movie Fargo. When she wanders off and dies of exposure, McMorsey finds himself thrust into the spotlight of an intrusive media campaign, dredging up ghosts from his past.

January 31, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Character Driven, Contemporary, Wild West

CARIBOU ISLAND by David Vann

This is a richly absorbing and dark, domestic drama that combines the natural, icy world of the Alaska frontier with a story of deceptive love and betrayal. If Steinbeck and Hemingway married the best of Anita Shreve, you would get David Vann’s CARIBOU ISLAND. His prose is terse and the characterizations are subtle, but knifing. Like Shreve, his characters are saturated with loneliness and disconnection with their lives, with each other, in a pit of misperception, despair and exile, in a conflict of selves that beat each other down. The topography and remoteness of this “exclave” state, a place non-contiguous physically with its legal attachment (of the US) serves as one of many metaphors to the attachments exemplified in this story.

January 18, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Alaska, Character Driven, Contemporary, Family Matters, Reading Guide, Wild West

OLD BORDER ROAD by Susan Froderberg

Dozens of books have promised the sentiment “for lovers of Cormac McCarthy” and left me sorely disappointed. But, in this claim, Froderberg is truly McCarthy’s literary offspring, echoing his hot, haunting brand of southwest essence, desert landscape, and gothic narrative elixir, if not yet fully capturing his linguistic sublimity and lethal, graveyard humor. In this ambitious debut novel, the author explores desperate and broken souls living through a drought in southern Arizona—a land of sand and scrub, cactus stands, spiny shrubs, bitterbrush, dusty maiden, diamondbacks, rodeos, distant foothills, punishing climate, and an endless starlit sky.

December 9, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Theme driven, US Southwest, Wild West