A Killing in New Town

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Overview

Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory, nineteenth-century edge of the future. Fear, greed, and real estate turn the windmill into a hanging tree. Each train into this booming railroad town unloads a cargo of carpetbaggers, entrepreneurs, seekers, Civil War veterans, and strong, lonely women?like Eliza Pelham. Good mother, drunk and unfaithful wife, Eliza stands at this juncture of raw change and random justice, caught in a reality of callousness and redemption. As Eliza searches for her stolen children, she discovers ...

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Overview

Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory, nineteenth-century edge of the future. Fear, greed, and real estate turn the windmill into a hanging tree. Each train into this booming railroad town unloads a cargo of carpetbaggers, entrepreneurs, seekers, Civil War veterans, and strong, lonely women—like Eliza Pelham. Good mother, drunk and unfaithful wife, Eliza stands at this juncture of raw change and random justice, caught in a reality of callousness and redemption. As Eliza searches for her stolen children, she discovers three allies: an Irish saloon girl, an Apache man who reads Melville, and La Llorona, the weeping mother, fierce in a black dress, thousands of years old.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The winner of the 1996 Western States Book Award for fiction, Horsley's latest captures the dusty, dry essence of life in New Town, a frontier settlement in the New Mexico Territory. Its setting is the late 19th century, but the characters populate their historical setting with an endearing and rather modern mix of foibles, quirks and passions. Eliza Pelham, though an alcoholic and adulteress, loves her children with the passion of a mother grizzly. When they are stolen, she sets out with two unlikely allies, the consumptive Irish saloon girl, Bridie O'Doonan, and an Eastern-educated Apache, Robert Youngman. Although the relationship will eventually prove tragic, it does, for a short time, offer an island of loyalty and trust in the midst of prevailing lawlessness. The title implies a murder story, and though it is about murder, Horsley's intention is a double meaning that refers also to the ``killing'' that settlers hope to make in New Town. Small daily details and larger ideas make this unconventional western a truly compelling blend of adventure, Southwestern mythology and reality. Oct.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780963190963
  • Publisher: La Alameda Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Pages: 275
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Prize-winning novelist Kate Horsley lives in Albuquerque.

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