Hoback flees to Wyoming to escape the big city violence that cost him his wife and almost turned him into a killer. Life is good in Hardwater until somebody butchers three people like deer, packs their bodies with uranium ore, and sends Hoback a poem, challenging him to stop the killing. The poet reveals an intimate knowledge of Hoback's violent past—and a perverse and terrifying interest in his son. This haunting tale of murder, betrayal, and a father's love takes place in a Wyoming uranium-mining town set in the middle of the wildest, most beautiful country south of Alaska.
STEVE SHERWOOD, director of the William L. Adams Center for Writing at TCU, has published essays and fiction in numerous magazines and journals. With Christina Murphy he edited the St. Martin's Sourcebook for Writing Tutors (1995) and with Murphy and Joe Law he compiled Writing Centers: An Annotated Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1996).
What Readers Are Saying:
"A worthy winner of the George Garrett Fiction Prize, Hardwater has style, pace and punch. Its picture of the contemporary American West is on the money. Every turn of the page leaves a reader wondering, What next?, both in the story and in Sherwood's career." --Mike Mewshaw
"Steve Sherwood's Hardwater has everything you'd want in a thriller, not the least of which is a richly evocative sense of place: the high left corner of Wyoming up near Yellowstone, in a town where failed uranium mines have left the bitter taste of failure in white men's mouths and the area's resident reservation Shoshones and Arapahos find themselves literally at war with farmers and ranchers over water rights. When the editor of the local rag there gets hot on the trail of a serial killer or a poet with a macabre sense of humor, you have got a bang-on good contemporary Western." --C. W. Smith