Jared Walker is, unbeknownst to him, the natural son of notorious Ben Hackett. Forced into killing Hackett, Jared heads west, where, discovering his true identity, he is compelled by circumstance to live by the gun. Will Jared and honky-tonk angel, Betsy, find redemption through their love?
The America of the 1880s was a nation of turbulent paradox. Streetcars ran where Iroquois had hunted. Glidden-wire fenced off grass that had been free. On the keyboard of a St. Louis brothel, Scott Joplin picked out the early chords of Ragtime, while the once-proud Plains Indians hunkered, sullen, on sparse reservations.
Yet, in the territories to the west, wild Apache raided still. Cattle grazed on shrinking open range. In the trail and river towns, the six-gun lawman’s work remained unfinished. Memories of civil-war festered in men’s hearts and minds, and its violent aftermath lingered on. The frontier closing, land grew scarce, and blood was spilled on such free grass as remained.
Jared Hackett is aimed to recreate the spirit of those wild days.
Born in Leeds, Yorkshire, of Irish stock, the writer was educated by Jesuit priests, and at Leeds Polytechnic, Leeds University and at the University of Aston-in-Birmingham. He has been a lecturer and a labourer, a part-time soldier-of-the Queen, and (briefly) one of her full-time ‘guests’. He has travelled widely in Europe, North Africa, the U.S.A and Canada. American history is a lifelong compelling interest.