Far Bright Star
In 1916, an U.S. Army patrol led by Napoleon Childs is ambushed by Mexican guerrillas when they try to locate Pancho Villa. Tortured and left to die in the heat of the desert, Napoleon survives and then tries to make sense of his life as he walks through the desert attempting to return to camp. A career soldier, Childs is tired of fighting senseless wars against an enemy that is difficult to defeat, and cares even less about their reason for fighting this war in such a God-forsaken place.
The scene in which Childs and his companion Preston are tortured is intense. The author has written a thinking reader’s Western, not a stereotypical Western novel. The protagonist has weaknesses that make him human, which results in a captivating story. An award-winning writer, Olmstead has presented a tragic event that caused a life-changing effect on the major character. This spellbinding story, difficult to put down, comes highly recommended; it contains elements of human emotion that far exceed that in any previous Western I have read. If you have never read a Western before, let this book become your first.