A man’s single-minded quest for vengeance is a traditional western theme, but this one doesn’t feel like a traditional western. It’s darker, harder around the edges, a noir crime drama wearing western clothing. Ethan Wilder is a two-fisted 1940s antihero transported to the Wild West, and fans of both noir and westerns should give this book thumbs-up.

Booklist

Wild Side of the River

 

Ethan, eldest son of the Wilder clan, returns home after having been away only a couple of months. He finds his family near the point of self-destruction. One of his brothers is on the run, accused of beating a young girl. His father is warring with another brother, who is presently keeping his father locked up in the privy. As if that isn’t enough, Ethan learns that local ranchers are being murdered by an unknown culprit, and when his own father becomes a victim, he puts everything he has on the line to make the killer pay.