Gold River Canyon by Ed Kostro



Gold River Canyon Gold River CanyonEd Kostro; 2003WorldCat

Review is by Molly

The chronicle begins at the Territorial Prison, Yuma, Arizona. The year is 1878 and ex-marshal Jake Golden is planning retirement in California with his wife Cecelia. Demented butcher Bart Zachary, a near seven foot giant has just escaped from the prison and is bent on vengeance against Jake and anyone else close to the old lawman, or who had a hand in Zachary’s incarceration. A hoped for fishing trip, am alarming premonition, a vexing card game and a drink with an old friend all reckon in the yarn. The ordeal begins with a peculiar man shouting and driving a wagon up and down the canyon. Sage Brush has arrived to reveal that Bart Zachary broke out of prison over two weeks ago. When Jake finds Sage brutally annihilated a short time later Jake is over come with anguish. Before long his grief become total fury. A posse, Apache on the move and a missing child propel the recital along. The abandoned Santa Anna Copper Mine appears to hold the key to the mystery surrounding how to stop the maniacal murderer.

Gold River Canyon is an extraordinary and riveting glimpse at the old West. Novelist Kostro has constructed a white knuckle page turner of a tale filled with complicity, historical milieu, and well developed characters. That Kostro has done his preparation for writing is manifest. Kostro’s depiction of 1870s Arizona, the Apache people and their legends, and chronicled actuality is irreproachable.

Once again writer Kostra has created a thrilling melee filled work in his Gold River Canyon. Characters are boisterous, plausible, and satisfactory. Piquant, creditable colloquy is occupied with stimulating jocularity, prickle filled with an unquestionable ‘folks talking to one another’ attribute. The ribbing badinage carried out between Cecelia and her tired, aging husband is comparable to that taking place regularly between spouses/companions/friends far and wide. And that common folksiness is much of what makes this work so refreshing. The reader is caught up immediately both in the narrative and in the lives of the characters themselves. Reader interest is held fast from the opening lines right down to the last paragraphs. Prickly dialogue, perilous story line and paradoxical players generously illustrated, this describes Gold River Canyon completely.

Gold River Canyon has a place on the pleasure reading shelf in the home and school library. While written for the grown-up reader Gold River Canyon will likewise be relished by competent readers from upper middle grades into high school. Gold River Canyon is a great book for lazing away a warm summer day spent in the swing reading on the porch. This is NOT the book to read on a drear and stormy night when you are home alone. I do not keep all the books I receive for review, Ed Kostro’s Gold River Canyon is an edition I will be keeping.

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