As a writer of a western series, I don’t read a lot of Western fiction. In the past, I devoured Owen Wister, Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, Larry McMurtry, and even Max Brand. Nowadays, I find myself mostly reading western nonfiction to help me put accurate color in my books. The Black Hills by Rod Thompson is an exception. I read and enjoyed this book enormously. This is skillful fiction that should appeal to people of any age, gender, or interest. In other words, this is great storytelling that just happens to take place in the American Wild West. It’s a coming of age saga with characters you end up befriending by the end of the book. The Black Hills is the type of book that will help revive the Western genre—good storytelling with a solid plot, realistic dialogue, and characters the reader cares about.
This is a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer for a Western enthusiast or picky reader. The Black Hills has 23 Amazon customer reviews for 5.0 stars and at the time of this writing is heavily discounted to $6 for the paperback edition. How's that for an entertainment bargain. And when you finish, you can pass the book along to someone else.
The Black Hills is touted as the first book in a trilogy. Let’s hope Thompson is feverishly working on the second in the series.