Joe R. Landsdale
Mulholland Books, 2015
Young Willie is on the run, having fled his small Texas farm when an infamous local landowner murdered his father. A man named Loving takes him in and trains him in the fine arts of shooting, riding, reading, and gardening. When Loving dies, Willie re-christens himself Nat Love in tribute to his mentor, and heads west. In Deadwood, South Dakota Territory, Nat becomes a Buffalo Soldier and is befriended by Wild Bill Hickok. After winning a famous shooting match, Nat's peerless marksmanship and charm earn him the nickname Deadwood Dick, as well as a beautiful woman. But the hellhounds are still on his trail, and they brutally attack Nat Love's love. Pursuing the men who have driven his wife mad, Nat heads south for a final, deadly showdown against those who would strip him of his home, his love, his freedom, and his life.
Well, Paradise Sky and I did not get off to a good start. I almost didn’t read it based on the fact that it began with cannibalism and other uncomfortable topics. I gave it a few more chapters, and I’m so glad that I did because the book was fantastic. It turns out the uncomfortable topics were not necessarily as bad as they sounded. Context surrounding the events helped, especially with the cannibalism. Don’t get me wrong, terrible things happened to the characters. Those things propelled the plot along and made Paradise Sky suspenseful and heartbreaking.
It’s not my usual type of book - I read it because it features South Dakota - but I’m so glad that I gave it TWO chances.