Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Chatham Killing


I try to show things as they were, warts and all, but the physical descriptions are accurate. I’ve ridden and hunted the land and I can tell you that the Grand Tetons are snow-covered in August. But the snow is too dirty to eat or boil down for coffee, and I’ve tried to paint these things as they are.”

That quote is not from the book, but from an interview given by the author Jack Ehrlich on his approach. That is a mighty fine descriptor of what we find in this hard-bitten 1976 novel.

A young woman has been raped and murdered and our town marshal protagonist attempts to ferret out the culprit and finds out some mighty unpleasant things along the way.

Malignant revelations regarding the girl, those who knew her, the nature of justice, and the nature of the law itself which does not always coincide.

The novel is written as Ehrlich describes his work, truthfully. It may not be pretty, but it is some mighty fine reading.

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