Lonesome Animals by Bruce Holbert

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In Lonesome Animals, Arthur Strawl, a tormented former lawman, is called out of retirement to hunt a serial killer with a sense of the macabre who has been leaving elaborately carved bodies of Native Americans across three counties. As the pursuit ensues, Strawl’s own dark and violent history weaves itself into the hunt, shedding light on the remains of his broken family: one wife taken by the river, one by his own hand; an adopted Native American son who fancies himself a Catholic prophet; and a daughter, whose temerity and stoicism contrast against the romantic notions of how the west was won.

In the vein of True Gritand Blood Meridian, Lonesome Animals is a western novel reinvented, a detective story inverted for the west. It contemplates the nature of story and heroism in the face of a collapsing ethos –not only of Native American culture, but also of the first wave of white men who, through the battle against the geography and its indigenous people, guaranteed their own destruction. But it is also about one man’s urgent, elegiac search for justice amidst the craven acts committed on the edges of civilization.

About Bruce Holbert

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Bruce Holbert is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. His work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Hotel Amerika, Other Voices, The Antioch Review, Crab Creek Review, The West Wind Review, and Cairn. Bruce Holbert grew up at the foot of the Okanogan Mountains. His great-grandfather was an Indian scout and among the first settlers of the Grand Coulee.
Published April 12, 2012 by Counterpoint. 290 pages
Genres: Westerns, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lonesome Animals

Kirkus Reviews

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A bloody Western set during the 1930s, Holbert’s debut novel follows an amoral lawman hunting an amoral killer in the rugged, rapidly changing rural counties of Washington State.

Apr 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Lonesome Animals

Oregon Live

Russell Strawl is a piece of work.

May 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Lonesome Animals

City Book Review

Yet his ears denied him even this small favor, for no man is permitted that kind of quiet.” Praised as a blend of True Grit and Blood Meridian, Lonesome Animals by Bruce Holbert brings the detective story to the West.

Oct 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Lonesome Animals

Publishers Weekly

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Former lawman Russell Strawl, himself no stranger to bloodshed, has been brought out of retirement to track a serial killer who has left a gruesome trail of murdered Indians, each ritualistically carved up.

Jun 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Lonesome Animals

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