Hangtown Creek by John Rose Putnam
John Rose Putnam
Hangtown Creek offers romance, intrigue, engaging characters and rich descriptions of compelling times long past. This fine book definitely belongs on your must-read list.
The majestic landscapes of Brett Harte’s California unite with Larry McMurtry’s epic old west realism in an explosion of love, lust, murder and betrayal that comes to a powerful climax along a beautiful stream, home to the largest strike in the mines, where a burning barn ignites the passion of a gold rush boomtown and, in one dark night of revenge, earns that stream the name it bears to this day—HANGTOWN CREEK.
Review by Cordell Falk Author:
Hangtown Creek is at heart a suspense story with a satisfyingly deep plot – the intertwined threads of Maggie’s flight from the wicked Smiling Jack and the Marsh family’s agonizing trek into Gold Country are equally worthy of their own Western short novel.
John works between the two themes with a score of well-timed crescendos and discoveries, gently leading the way with historical accuracy
y that doesn’t bog down the narrative or come across as excessive. Elegant but with a thumping pace, vicious without being crude, it was a very good read – highly recommended.
Review by Alon Shaley:
Hangtown Creek is a well-planned, well-executed novel. The author impresses with his vast historical knowledge and the description of the places as they were back in the days of the Gold Rush.
While his story is tense and exciting, it is his characters that really stand out. In particular, the female protagonist, Maggie, is so life-like and appealing as she experiences the worst and the best of what the West had to offer. She is a strong woman who stands out in a world of men and is as inspiring as the most heroic of the men around her.
John Putnam writes with a strong sense of understanding the principles of the story arc and his writing is impressive. His style enables you to delve deeply into the novel because it is presented so smoothly.
Warning: Putnam’s description of the food eaten throughout the novel will make you hungry! This is a trait throughout his books. There has to be a cookbook somewhere down this author’s path.
Review by C.K. Thomas:
Putnam’s easy-flowing prose spins out a tale rich in 19th Century gold-rush history. Each character provides a unique glimpse into the passions and struggles of the old West.
This novel draws the reader in with several parallel story lines that Putnam then expertly twines together. The action moves quickly and not one word is wasted on extraneous detail not vital to the telling. Hangtown Creek offers romance, intrigue, engaging characters and rich descriptions of compelling times long past. This fine book definitely belongs on your must-read list.