From award-winning journalist and first-time novelist Derek Catron comes a historical Western and love story set on “the bloody Bozeman,” the trail that sparked the only Indian war that ended with the army’s defeat.
In the spring of 1866, Annabelle sets out with her extended family to the gold fields of Montana. Guiding the wagon train is Josey Angel, a cavalryman said to have killed more men than any soldier in the Union army. His reputation frightened Annabelle. His almost boyish appearance and manner intrigued her.
The journey through landscapes so beautiful and vast that anything seems possible will test—and strengthen—Annabelle, a Southern widow who lost everything in the war. Josey discovers new purpose in seeing to the safety of the settlers. Haunted by memories of the war and what he did to survive it, he sees in Annabelle a reason to think beyond living one day to the next, if he can only find redemption for his sins.
As they begin to turn to each other, Annabelle and Josey discover even greater perils. A mysterious gang of bandits stalks their trail, and the Sioux will do anything to drive away the interlopers. Josey, Annabelle and all of those they care for are unwittingly headed into the path of a new and savage war.
Praise for Trail Angel
“Debut novelist and career journalist Catron poignantly captures Josey’s wounded soul … This is an unsentimental but moving tale, composed with emotional intelligence and historical insight. … A timeless tale of love and adventure on the American frontier.” — Kirkus Reviews
“This is a story of two lost people who find each other and a way to keep on living. A finely constructed, well-told western.” — Booklist
“Trail Angel is a romantic and gripping Western tale. … Catron is a good storyteller. This is a fast read with lively writing and a gripping plot.” — Daytona Beach News-Journal
“The history is strong, the characters sharply drawn, and the narrative moves along like a locomotive. … We’re lucky to be able to look forward to more from this author.” —Loren D. Estleman, five-time Spur Award winner and National Book Award nominee