The Blaze of Noon

Written by Tim Champlin
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

It is 1878. Dan Mora, a fifty-eight-year-old prospector, and his unlikely comrade, Quanto, a Tarahumara Indian, discover more than gold in the desert of the southwestern United States. However, Champlin’s true protagonist is really the hot, dry desert landscape, where the only living predators are the Apache Indians. In the middle of this bleak, desolate land, Champlin interweaves the stories of several characters, including a love interest, desperate escaped convicts, and a Mexican psychopath. Eventually, Mora must make moral decisions about his life and those of his friends.

The descriptions of the desert and its effect on the characters are compelling. Champlin describes in great detail how they try to stay alive as they wander through the desert with little water available, the sun beating down upon their heads. If you enjoy books written about the American West in the late 1800s, you’ll appreciate Tim Champlin’s writing style. He places engaging characters in a setting that few men are able to survive.