Author(s): Malcolm Brooks
"In the mid-1950s, America was flush with prosperity and saw an unbroken line of progress clear to the horizon, while the West was still very much wild. Catherine Lemay is a young archaeologist on her way to Montana, with a huge task before her - a canyon ""as deep as the devil's own appetites."" Working ahead of a major dam project, she has one summer to prove nothing of historical value will be lost in the flood. From the moment she arrives, nothing is familiar - the vastness of the canyon itself mocks the contained, artefact-rich digs in post-Blitz London where she cut her teeth. And then there's John H, a former mustanger and veteran of the U.S. Army's last mounted cavalry campaign, living a fugitive life in the canyon. John H inspires Catherine to see beauty in the stark landscape, and her heart opens to more than just the vanished past. Painted Horses sends a dauntless young woman on a heroic quest, sings a love song to the horseman's vanishing way of life, and reminds us that love and ambition, tradition and the future often make strange bedfellows."
Painted Horses creates several worlds in a seamless and ambitious blend of history, romance, archaeology and nature. --USA Today Brooks' prose rings true and borders on poetic when he tackles the biggest things in his novel: themes of love, what one is willing to fight for, what to give up for something held more dear and, in the end, what it takes to recover from what has been lost. --Seattle Times Painted Horses is reminiscent of the classic western adventures, but is poised to set a standard of its own. --Deseret News John H... in particular, has a backstory that is both intimate and sweeping in a way that may remind readers of Michael Ondaajte's The English Patient. --Boston Globe
Malcolm Brooks was raised in the rural foothills of the California Sierras and grew up around Gold Rush and Native American artefacts. A carpenter by trade, he has lived in Montana for most of the last two decades. This is his debut novel.