cover image Durango


Gary Hart. Fulcrum, $15.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-55591-670-1

Though failing to deliver on its promise of suspense, former Colorado senator Hart’s newest (after The Thunder and the Sunshine) is an honest tale of folks trying to right a wrong and do what’s best for their community—Durango, Colo. Unfairly driven from public office 12 years earlier amid false accusations of corruption, Dan Sheridan has since led a quiet life. When an idealistic young reporter and his wise editor uncover the truth about the scandal, they decide to print their findings to restore Dan’s reputation, despite his desire to let the dead dog lie. However, the impending news story and Dan’s reluctant involvement in settling a water rights dispute between the town, the Feds, and the Ute Indians will expose a lot of the past he would rather forget. The author’s portrayal of the West’s water rights issue is rich with historical and contemporary significance, and he deftly balances politics and economics with nature and human relationships. Hart’s rendering of Dan as a steadfast, moral man is an admirable example of virtue. Despite a predictable ending, this is a powerful statement about living an honorable life. (Aug.)