Do you enjoy psychological fiction with flawed but sympathetic characters set amidst the backdrop of the modern West? You might enjoy BLACK RIVER, by S. M. Hulse. Leisurely paced with a strong sense of place, Black River won the 2015 Reading the West Book Award and was nominated for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize in 2015.
NLS Annotation: Wes Carver has not returned to Black River since he was held hostage in a prison riot while serving as a corrections officer. Now his former captor, Bobby Williams, is up for release, and Wes must consider what he believes and whether he can let Williams walk away. Some violence and some strong language. 2014.
If you have already read this book, or simply enjoy modern westerns told in a lyrical style that delve into the thoughts of the characters, you might also enjoy The Plainsong series by Kent Haruf.
If you like contemporary mysteries with a western flavor such as the Walt Longmire Series by Craig Johnson or the Joe Pickett Series by C. J. Box, you might try the Texana Jones Mystery Series by Allana Martin, starting with DEATH OF A HEALING WOMAN (DB 47921). Winner of the 1996 Spur Award, this story, set in rural El Polvo, Texas, follows local resident Texana Jones as she investigates the murder of the local curandera, Rhea Fair.
Plot driven with a strong sense of place, this suspenseful mystery also hosts a cast of vividly memorable characters. The author, Allana Martin, lives in Marfa, Texas and her knowledge of the area reveals itself in her detailed descriptions of the people, culture and landscape of the border region.
Texana Jones operates a trading post on the Mexican-American border. She is still mourning the death of two friends when she finds the body of a third, healer Rhea Fair. The authorities blame drug couriers. As Texana investigates, an outbreak of rabies spreads through the countryside. Spur Award Winner. Some violence. 1996.
If you’ve already read this book and enjoy a good mystery series with a female protagonist that takes place in rural setting, you may try the Anna Pigeon Series by Nevada Barr, starting with TRACK OF THE CAT (DB 65648) If you’d prefer a male lead, try the Sheriff Dan Rhodes Series by Bill Crider.