Synopses & Reviews
Under Tower Peak
was acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal
as one of the Ten Best Mysteries of 2013. In this sequel, Tommy Smith, the Iraq War vet and former Eastern Sierra packer, is home from war after re-upping for a tour in Afghanistan. When his old friend Dave Cathcart disappears from his ranch, Tommy answers the call to help find him. What he learns is that his love for Dave's daughter, his old flame Sarah Cathcart, has never died, but the country where he grew up is undergoing change. Stockmen are selling off water rights to the highest bidder, rendering ranches barren and the community bitter, as drugs and a dangerous new element have moved in.
When Sarah confides that her husband, a smooth-talking entrepreneur, has lost her trust and may not be all he seems, Tommy begins to investigate. Soon another disappearance leads to a gruesome discovery, and a brutal sequence of events takes Sarah and Tommy to old haunts in the high country, where once again he will need to call on his sniper's skills to save them both and to rescue her missing father.
Set in Nevada ranching country Paul’s stunning sequel to 2013’s Under Tower Peak brings back his tough but reflective hero Sgt. Tommy Smith and evokes a sense of place that seems almost timeless. When Dave Cathcart the father of Tommy’s ex girlfriend Sarah Cathcart goes missing from his ranch Tommy who has recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan joins the search for Dave. In the process Tommy finds that Sarah is estranged from her husband Kip whose behavior is becoming threatening; that pressure on ranchers to sell water rights is causing tension in the community; and that he and Sarah still have feelings for each other. But romance has to wait as Sarah’s tormentor ups his game and she and Tommy take to the desert to draw him out in a taunting game of hare and hound. Each plot reveal feels simultaneously shocking and inevitable. High tension and gorgeous Americana make this a standout. Agent: Jessica Kaye Kaye amp; Mills. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
Praise for Under Tower Peak:
Under Tower Peak has everything I look for in a thrillerbig characters, big action, sharp dialogue, and the magic of place. Bart Paul brings the California mountains to life through Iraqi war sniper Tommy Smith, a tough soul who would like to forget that war and get on with his life in the great outdoors. This book is engaging as a firefight and haunting as a campfire story.” T. Jefferson Parker, author of The Famous and the Dead and The Jaguar
A superb contemporary western thriller. Paul's Tommy Smith is right up there with James Lee Burke's Dave Robichaux. . . . Bart Paul knows his High Sierra country inside out. Under Tower Peak is a beautifully-written, searingly honest literary thriller by a first-rate storyteller and outdoorsman.” Howard Frank Mosher, author of Walking to Gatlinburg
A great Western thriller. Bart Paul knows how to keep things interesting and his attention to detail is pitch-perfectfrom how to pack a horse to the relationship between two modern-day cowboys. In Tommy Smith, he has created a Western hero that is part John Wayne and part James Bond. Under Tower Peak is a hard book to put down.” Dan OBrien, author of Stolen Horses and Buffalo for the Broken Heart
Paul writes with spare, clean, hard-driving prose that skates along morality's knife-edgewriting reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and James Lee Burkeall the while layered with lush, keenly observed descriptions of the natural world and mans place in it. Wild-country noir with gripping, compelling action.” Kirkus Reviews
A superior blend of thriller and contemporary western, full of gun lore and with a fine appreciation of the Sierra Nevada wilderness. And Pauls spare, reflective style recalls Hemingway.” Booklist, starred review
A scenic, suspenseful debut novel turns out to be one of the best of the season. . . . Bart Pauls debut novel displays some formidable influencesHemingway, for instance . . . Shadows of Cormac McCarthy and Jim Harrison also flutter across the pages of this swift-moving tale. . . . The nonstop action in Under Tower Peak is well-paced, the plot twists surprising (even shocking), and the occasional humor welcome. . . . A must-read.” Wall Street Journal
About the Author
is the author of TV documentaries, short stories, the biography Double-Edged Sword: The Many Lives of Hemingways Friend, the American Matador Sidney Franklin
, and Under Tower Peak
, his acclaimed debut thriller featuring Tommy Smith. Throughout his school years he spent summers working on cattle ranches and pack outfits in Californias Eastern Sierra. After years in Southern California, he now lives in the ranching country of his novels.