Dead Run: The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West

Dan Schultz. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-68188-3
Florid prose and speculative dramatizations take away from the story of a brutal 1998 murder in Cortez, Colo. Journalist Schultz gets off to a rocky start with a discussion of the role of the Wild West in American culture, whose reach exceeds his grasp: “Like the land and legends that created it, the spirit of the American West is too expansive to capture in cohesive thought, yet we know it by its landmarks: individualism, excess, self-reliance, resourcefulness, impatience and, above all, freedom.” That approach—looking to invest with broader significance the gunning down of policeman Dale Claxton by three survivalist antigovernment conspirators—won’t work for every reader, and many will wish Schultz had stuck to known facts. Instead, an author’s note explains the rationale for filling in gaps “by suggesting events that seem most consistent with the physical evidence and expert opinion,” and concludes with the caveat that as “far as anybody knows, the following pages are the brutal truth.” Sections identifying the flawed and uncoordinated strategy law enforcement used in catching the killers work much better. 8-page b&w photo insert. Agent: Elizabeth Evans, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Mar. 26)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 03/26/2013
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Paperback - 301 pages - 978-1-250-04269-9
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Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-250-02342-1
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