I was intrigued when a copy of The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman arrived in my mailbox. I like westerns, was in between books, and started reading this one as soon as I got it out of the packaging.
It grabbed me with its 19th century setting and held me with its intriguing characters, but I eventually had to stop reading due to its violence. I usually don’t mind violence in books, but this was just too unrelenting and vicious for my current frame of mind. It bummed me out to stop reading because I was enjoying the vividness of Jackman’s noir-western style.
From the publisher:
Tracing a group of ruthless outlaws from its genesis during the American Civil War all the way to a final bloody stand in the Oklahoma territories, The Winter Family is a hyperkinetic Western noir that reads like a full-on assault to the senses.
Spanning the better part of three decades, The Winter Family traverses America’s harsh, untamed terrain, both serving and opposing the fierce advance of civilization. Among its twisted specimens, the Winter Family includes the psychopathic killer Quentin Ross, the mean and moronic Empire brothers, the impassive ex-slave Fred Johnson, and the dangerous child prodigy Lukas Shakespeare But at the malevolent center of this ultraviolent storm is their cold, hardened leader, Augustus Winter—a man with an almost pathological resistance to the rules of society and a preternatural gift for butchery.
From their service as political thugs in a brutal Chicago election to their work as bounty hunters in the deserts of Arizona, there’s a hypnotic logic to Winter’s grim borderland morality that plays out, time and again, in ruthless carnage. With its haunting, hard-edged style, The Winter Family is a feverishly paced meditation on human nature and the dark contradictions of progress.
If you like dark books, westerns, and/or 19th century history (and maybe horror) you should definitely check out The Winter Family (if you don’t mind violence, of course).
The former bookseller in me feels oddly compelled to get this book in the hands of someone who wants to read it, so I’m running a 14-hour enter-to-win giveaway for the book, from 7 pm on 4/13 to 9 am on 4/14, EST. SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU WANT TO BE ENTERED TO WIN. The mailing is on my own dime, so U.S. residents only please.