Hard Country by Michael McGarrity


11 Critic Reviews

A well-rendered neoclassic tale of the Old West, worthy of a place alongside Lonesome Dove and Sea of Grass


A richly authentic epic adventure of rough-hewn men and courageous women, set in the hard country of the American Southwest frontier.

Hard Country is a rare and extraordinary story of one family’s struggle to settle and endure in the vast, untamed territory of New Mexico.

In the wake of the death of his wife as she gives birth to his son, and the killing of his brother on the West Texas plains, John Kerney is forced to give up his ranch, leave his son behind, and strike out in search of the murderous outlaws and a place where he can start over. He drifts south until he meets a man who offers him work trailing cattle to the New Mexico Territory and forever changes his life.

Spanning the years of 1875 to 1918, Hard Country is the Western reinvented and enlarged into a saga that above all celebrates the people and the land of the great Southwest.

About Michael McGarrity

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MICHAEL McGARRITY is the Anthony Award–nominated, New York Times bestselling author of the Kevin Kerney novels. A former Santa Fe County deputy sheriff, he writes full-time and lives in Santa Fe.
Published May 10, 2012 by Dutton. 617 pages
Genres: Westerns, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Hard Country
All: 11 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 2


May 15 2012

A well-rendered neoclassic tale of the Old West, worthy of a place alongside Lonesome Dove and Sea of Grass

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Mar 05 2012

his characters are sparely drawn, and the emotionally stunted, suspicious, and compulsively misanthropic Patrick Kerney makes for a difficult protagonist to carry the family saga element of this expansive novel.

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Book Reporter

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on May 11 2012

There is action, suspense, romance, and even at one point a murder mystery. But its most compelling element is McGarrity’s storytelling ability, which moves the narrative along at a stallion’s pace through its generous page count.

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Romance Reviews Today

Reviewed by Diana Risso

the reading is fast and the story hard to put down. Spanning the years from 1875 following the Civil War and encompassing both the Spanish American War and World War I, this novel is filled with history and great story-telling.

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The Reader

Reviewed by David Hansen on Jun 04 2012

McGarrity took great care in reviving the old West with accuracy, citing works on cowboy daily life and important historical characters in his author's note.

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Santa Fe Reporter

Reviewed by Jackson Larson on May 09 2012

Icons like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid make appearances through casual dialogue and melodramatic scenes that create a visceral atmosphere of the untamed west

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Book Loons

Reviewed by Bob Walch

the result is a very entertaining novel that captures the flavor of the Old West. If you enjoy family sagas which feature plenty of action, drama and authentic historical background, this is a trilogy you'll wish to follow from the outset.

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Genre Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Debbie on Jul 15 2012

The details about the time period, cattle ranching, wars, politics, etc., made the story slow-paced in places. There was very little dialogue at the beginning and multiple years would be described in a sentence or two.

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Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine

Reviewed by Bill Crider on May 21 2012

There's a lot going on, but it's all easy to follow thanks to McGarrity's writing. His style is perfect for the story, and it carries everything along at a brisk pace, making the book seem much shorter than it is.

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Kazi Book Review with Hopeton Hay

Reviewed by Tim Chamberlain on Jun 17 2012

his talent for bringing real cowboys to life is evident throughout the novel.

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Parry Sound Books

May 30 2012

Hard Country was a satisfying novel, enough suspense to keep it moving along, and truly fascinating history.

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