cover image Lone Creek

Lone Creek

Neil McMahon, Author . HarperCollins $24.95 (328p) ISBN 978-0-06-079221-3

McMahon (Revolution No. 9 and three other thrillers starring Dr. Carroll Monks) delivers his finest achievement to date with this beautifully written stand-alone set in contemporary Montana. Hugh Davoren, a former journalist and ex-boxer now doing construction near where he grew up outside Helena, is working on the building of a massive residence on the old Pettyjohn homestead, recently purchased by an East Coast businessman, Wesley Balcomb. Davoren keeps his head low and does his job, until he comes across two thoroughbred horses unceremoniously shotgunned and buried in the site trash dump. Next thing he knows, Davoren's thrown in jail overnight on a trumped-up charge. What kind of shady operation is Balcomb running, and why is he suddenly so determined to ruin Davoren's life? Aided by his co-worker and friend, "Madbird," a hardcase Blackfoot Indian and Vietnam vet, Davoren grapples with a host of antagonists, including Kirk Pettyjohn, old man Pettyjohn's crack-addict son, and an assassin known as John Doe. A natural storyteller, McMahon is sure to appeal to fans of James Crumley and Jim Harrison. (Apr.)