The Cowboy Rides Away

Betsy Thornton, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14301-5
For Chloe Newcomb, introduced in this first novel, coming of age and middle age seem to be hitting at about the same time. A former member of the 1960s counterculture, Chloe has just quit her job as a financial investigator in New York City for an unlikely third life in scruffy, no-nonsense, serenely beautiful Bisbee, Ariz. Putting a short-lived marriage firmly behind her and mourning for her brother, who died of AIDS, Chloe is doing her best to look ahead, but her earlier lives keep intruding. As a Victim Witness--an advocate for crime survivors--she has just seen the dead body of an old lover from her college days. Even 20 years later, the face is the same, but the name is different. While the police are ready to label Leroy Harris a suicide, Chloe knows better--her impassioned friend, Randall Hartman, would never take his own life. Becoming obsessed with his death and with finding his killer, she retraces his steps and, in the process, comes to terms with some of the twists and missteps along her own path. This debut is packed with a strong sense of atmosphere. Thornton vividly depicts the Bisbee terrain and has a real feeling for those whose nerves have been rubbed raw by life. But as easy as it is to identify with Chloe, she's a hard woman to spend time with--nothing seems to fall her way. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Mass Market Paperbound - 288 pages - 978-0-440-22327-6
Paperback - 242 pages - 978-1-5168-2384-0
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