Set in 2001 in the dying Montana town of Sanctuary, Sharpshooter pits the local lawman, half Jew and half Crow, Redfawn Kravitz, against the recent killer of U.S. Senate candidate Jeb Holloway, a powerful man with lots of enemies. Red's best friend is a Northern Cheyenne, Standing Bear Hatcher, a legendary All-Pro linebacker, former pro wrestler and current owner of The Elk, the only bar in fifty miles.
The weapon that killed Holloway is a Sharps buffalo rifle. The lethal slug seems to have come through time, as if the murderer stepped out of the past, then melted back to just after the Battle of Little Bighorn, when the Holloways began grabbing up land at bargain prices. As the investigation gains ground, both suspects and witnesses begin dropping like flies.
National media and Federal agents descend on Sanctuary while Red and Bear huddle to figure out who is doing this killing and why. These conversations occur in Plains Indian sign language while the two fish for cutthroat trout in the Little Bighorn, pinched between the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations. Increasingly Red is haunted by the echoes of long-dead Indian warriors, trying to warn him about unrealized dangers. The dead chiefs and braves who considered Bearpaw mountain sacred seem to want him to take a stand with Bear against the investors who want to develop a ski resort on its slopes.
Sharpshooter is modern in the sense of being present-day, but Western in terms of the
ruggedness and traditional or tribal views of its surviving Indians and characters. It isn't likely that you'll guess whodunnit until the last chapter. Three romantic subplots add welcome relief from this otherwise hard land and its enduring people. As beautifully written as the story is gripping, this one may just be literature.
Praise for Sharpshooter
"David Hoof re-establishes himself as one of the most talented and versatile masters of the writer's craft with a Western thriller featuring Red Kravitz, a new hero whose originality and persistence render his narrative gripping from the first page."
- Don Gastwirth, former editor, Yale Literary Magazine
"In Sharpshooter, David Hoof successfully blends mordern forensics and Old West lore to tell a story of murder, greed, and treachery. Deputy Redfawn Kravitz draws from his Indian heritage to track down a killer roaming a frontier prowled by wild men and wild women."
- Thomas B. Allen, author of Tories
"Sharpshooter, in the spirit of all great westerns, fuses past, present and future, reminding us that place is defined as much by geography as it is by time."
- Nicholas Croce, The Croce Agency
"Doomstruck Westerners tangled together like hibernating rattlesnakes in a whodunnit as tricky as The Missouri Breaks.
- Jed Horne, Pulitzer Prize Winner and
author of Desire Street, a True Story of Death and
Deliverance in New Orleans
"Sharpshooter by David Hoof is a gripping suspense thriller with a gritty, western feel. I very highly recommend this book! The writing is outstanding and story will have you hooked from the start."
- Michelle Vasquez, good reads
"Brilliant, yes. I just wrote brilliant. Have I caught your attention yet? Sharpshooter by David Hoof is an amazing novel, flat our mesmerizing from the first page to the last. His style is totally unique, his gift of writing phenomenal, and this novel just is one intense read. I am going out on a limb here and saying that this may be one of, if not the best, novels that I have read this year. Yes, that is how strongly I feel about the work this author has turned out here."
- Giovanni Gelato, G-spot radio blog show host