Backlands : A Novel of the American West

4.28 (552 ratings by Goodreads)
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An expansive, epic tale like Philipp Meyer s "The Son," and in the wonderful storyteller vein of Larry McMurtry s "Lonesome Dove," McGarrity s "Backlands" showcases his keen eye for historical detail, awe-inspiring scenery, and the bitter harshness of life on the last vestiges of the twentieth-century frontier West.
Michael McGarrity returns with the second installment of his sweeping, richly authentic "New York Times" bestselling American West trilogy set in the raw, untrammeled New Mexico backlands during the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and World War II.
"Hard Country," the first novel in the Kerney family trilogy and the debut prequel to his national bestselling Kevin Kerney crime novels, was critically acclaimed for its authentic, gritty realism; its sprawling, engrossing story; and its compelling, engaging characters. An instant hit on several national bestseller lists, "Hard Country" continues to attract an overwhelmingly positive response from critics, booksellers, and readers.
"Backlands" continues the story of Patrick Kerney; his ex-wife, Emma; and their young son, Matthew, shortly after the tragic battlefield death of their eldest son, CJ, at the end of World War I. Scarred by the loss of an older brother he idolized, estranged from a father he barely knows, and deeply troubled by the failing health of a mother he adores, eight-year-old Matthew is suddenly and irrevocably forced to set aside his childhood and take on responsibilities far beyond his years. When the world spirals into the Great Depression and drought settles like a plague over the nation, Matt must abandon his own dreams to salvage the Kerney ranch. Plunged into a deep trough of dark family secrets, hidden crimes, broken promises, and lies, Matt must struggle to survive on the unforgiving, sun-blasted Tularosa Basin."
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Product details

  • Hardback | 528 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 45.72mm | 748.42g
  • Dutton Books
  • English
  • New.
  • 0525953248
  • 9780525953241
  • 1,549,018

Review quote

Praise for "Backlands"

"McGarrity's well-researched details about life in New Mexico during the Great Depression will appeal to historical fiction fans, and his details about life on the ranch will appeal to readers of fiction set in the West. Loyal fans of the Kevin Kerney mystery series will also seek out this novel." - "Library Journal"
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About Michael McGarrity

MICHAEL MCGARRITY is the "New York Times "bestselling author of" Hard Country," the Anthony Award-nominated "Tularosa," and eleven other bestselling Kevin Kerney crime novels. A former deputy sheriff for Santa Fe County, he also served as an instructor at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy and as an investigator for the New Mexico public defender s office. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife, Emily Beth."
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Rating details

552 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 46% (256)
4 39% (216)
3 12% (64)
2 2% (12)
1 1% (4)

Our customer reviews

3.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: Yes! I thought Mr. McGarrity did an especially nice job of developing his characters in the book. I understand it’s the second in a series; I haven’t read the first book, but had no problem picking up the story line. This story begins in the 1920s, survives the Great Depression, and ends with the Second World War: McGarrity covers a lot of ground in five hundred pages. That’s probably why the book seemed to drag on so long for me. I thought a huge conflict was brewing about 40% through the book when the main character’s trustee told him, “You’ll be a very well-off young man . . . I’ve leveraged the stock by buying it on margin . . .” Knowing that the Great Depression was right around the corner, I was bracing for the worst. But the book just breezed through the Depression with no single climax or resolution that I could sink my teeth into. I did see a huge difference in Patrick’s character from the beginning to the end. I didn’t understand why he changed… maybe just old age. Even in a series, I like a book to contain all the elements that a novel should. I think Mr. McGarrity might be saving some of his big moments for the last book. Would I recommend it: Knowing that it’s long and what it’s about, if it still sounds interesting to you, then yes. There’s a huge audience for people who like this kind of old West, historical literature. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest more
by Chrissy
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