John D. Nesbitt lives in the plains country of Wyoming, where he teaches English and Spanish at Eastern Wyoming College. He has had six short story collections, three contemporary western novels, and twenty traditional western novels published in various hardbound, large print, audio, and mass-market paperback editions. He has also written textbooks and course manuals for his courses as well as a Boise State Western Writers Series booklet on Robert Roripaugh. Nesbitt has won many prizes and awards for his work, including two awards from the Wyoming State Historical Society (for fiction), two awards from Wyoming Writers for encouragement of other writers and service to the organization, two Wyoming Arts Council literary fellowships (one for fiction, one for non- fiction), a Western Writers of America Spur finalist award for mass-market paperback original novel for Raven Springs) and a Spur award for Trouble at the Redstone.
The fiction of John D Nebitt is always excellent. "Stranger in Thunder Basin" is another notch in his artistic belt that jumps out at you.
From the opening chapter, where a young Eddie Dawes witnesses has fathers' murder, to the deliberate journey to find the truth about the day. The King Diamond Ranch seems to be home to many of the answers, and once Bridge, the man who killed his father is gone, the issue is still unsettled. The "Dead Hand" theory holds sway in this territory, and the circuitous path is satisfying.
Mr Nesbitt writes a great novel. Like his previous efforts, "Stranger", is a good read, just after Tombstone, and Gunsmoke...
Ed Dawes knows nothing of his real ancestry; his surname comes from the family that took him in when he was five, after the old man he called "Pa-pa" was murdered almost in front of him one snowy morning. Ed's foster family told him the man was his grandfather, and he's never had any reason to suppose otherwise. Now, grown up and working as a blacksmith's helper in Glenrose, he unexpectedly sees once again the man who committed the murder; it's a face he knows he'll never forget. A friendly cowboy provides the man's name and the ranch he works on, and Ed, almost on impulse, sets out to learn why his "grandfather" was killed. Nesbitt skillfully reveals the truth a little at a time, and the reader is as surprised as Ed when the whole story finally comes out. Also, like John Trace/Bennett Foster, he has a good touch at showing the country, and readers who enjoy old-fashioned Westerns with sharp action, a hint of suspense, and a varied cast of characters should not be disappointed in him.