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This end of the west western reads faster than it ought to, faster than it deserves. Holbert's prose is worth savoring and the already settled mystery serves a purpose unrelated to suspense. Makes me wanna be a hardass. Makes me wanna cook a rabbit.
Russell Strawl is called out of retirement to hunt a serial killer who has been leaving elaborately carved bodies of Native Americans across three counties. Strawl's own dark and violent history weaves itself into the hunt, shedding light on the remains of his broken family, which in turn leads him to the identity of the killer. In the vein of True Grit and Blood Meridian, Lonesome Animals is a western novel reinvented, a detective story inverted for the west. It is also about one man's urgent, elegiac search for justice amidst the craven acts committed on the edges of civilization.
About the Author
Bruce Holbert is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. His work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Hotel Amerika, Other Voices, The Antioch Review, Crab Creek Review, The West Wind Review, and Cairn. Bruce Holbert grew up at the foot of the Okanogan Mountains. His great-grandfather was an Indian scout and among the first settlers of the Grand Coulee.