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The Long Hitch: A Western Story (Five Star Western Series) Hardcover – August 10, 2011
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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A believable, gritty, and action-packed tale of the real Old West.
-- Publishers Weekly
With its long journey, large cast of characters, and various subplots, the novel approaches McMurtry territory. Like McMcurtry, Zimmer takes time to develop his characters and their motivations, and the conflict grows organically out of their relationships rather than being imposed on them by the requirements of the story. A rich, mutltilayered, and suspenseful novel, another winner...
About the Author
Michael Zimmer is the author of twelve previous novels. His work has been praised by Booklist, Library Journal, Historical Novel Society, and others. City of Rocks, chosen by Booklist as one of the top ten Western novels of 2012, was a Finalist for the Western Writers of America Spur Award. Born in Indiana, and raised there and in Colorado, Zimmer now resides in Utah with his wife, Vanessa, and two dogs. His website is michael-zimmer.com.
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¨The Long Hitch¨ begins with Buck McCready's search for his adoptive father's killer, goes on to see Buck made head of a Box K freight company competing with another company, L and C, for a contract to haul all the goods for a major corporation. The contest grounds involve covering an enormous load of cumbersome and heavy mining and refining equipment through the desert and mountains from Corinne to Virginia City. This fast moving novel takes us step by step through the perils of a such a venture during good times and then adding skullduggery along the way. Of course, there's got to be foul play with the L and C boys sabotaging Box K loads, a midnight mule theft and minor shootings along the way. To sweeten the plot and thicken the gruel, two women are placed aboard the Box K's hitch, Dulce who has been Buck's major squeeze and Gwen who's the daughter of the Corporation president. All of that makes for a roiling, rootin', tootin'thrilling plot that never quits from page one to the end.
In addition, author Zimmer's prose is as smooth as glass and as lyrical as birdsong. His knowledge of the history, every bit of the trail, and down to the last rivet on the wagons to say nothing of his consummate knowledge of mules and cowboys 'place the reader square on the back of the lead mule with a clear view of the action. If there were more stars than Five in the Amazon parade, Michael Zimmer would earn every one.
All western and American Historical Novel readers will have but one wish when they've finished ¨The Last Hitch.¨¨How fast can I get the next,¨City of Rocks?¨
Sabotage, rustling, and murder dog the Box K as young wagon master Buck McCready learns, the hard way, that his assignment involves more than managing mules and wagons. A turncoat in his outfit is determined to see the Box K lose the race, the contract, and the riches it will bring the winner.
As is always the case with Zimmer's fiction, the author demonstrates intimate knowledge of the times and places in which his story is set. The Long Hitch is rich with detail about freighting as well. The intricacies of double trees, jerklines, wheelers, offside twelves and other facets of the work are revealed, but the knowledge is woven into the narrative so effortlessly that the reader learns without realizing it.
Harnessed alongside the main tale are murder mysteries, romantic entanglements, family squabbles, and the painful dredging up of a long-ago freighting incident involving the legendary wagon master who raised McCready and taught him how to work the long hitch. The result is a story as tight as a fifth chain moving up the trail.