This much is true. It's 1899. Harry Orchard is a member of the fire-breathing Western Federation of Miners. While other members labor underground to harvest the riches of the earth, Orchard is paid to kill men who are a problem for the union. He's an interesting killer, well-liked by his peers and by the ladies.

After years of cat-and-mouse pursuit by legendary Pinkerton, Charles Siringo, when he's arrested in 1906 for the murder of Idaho's former Governor, Frank Steunenberg, he's killed nineteen men in Idaho and Colorado. Even today, in the silver mining towns of northern Idaho, his name is spoken in whispers by those familiar with his deeds.

My Review

After reading this book I am saddened to learn of this author's death. I had never heard of this author prior. I am sad because this was a wonderful, well written novel. I am calling this a novel because that is what it deserves to be called and not a book.

Harry is one of those characters that at times you love to hate. He is not much of a people person. In fact you could say he is rough around the edges. Yet I found him likable at the same time. This novel had the markings of a good western. Mr. Bailey knew how to bring life to the characters and the locations. To be honest, I liked the Colorado setting the best as I live in Colorado myself. After finishing this book I will have to check out Mr. Bailey's prior novels.

Jack H. Bailey, author of Orchard, descended from gold miners and grew up in and around the locales frequented by Harry Orchard. It was while living in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho that his fascination with Orchard began. Jack joined the navy at seventeen and served in WWII aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington until she was sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea. He graduated from USC with a BA in English and spent sixteen years in aerospace during which time he wrote two critically praised novels, The Number Two Man and The Icarus Complex. Jack wrote prolifically until his death in 2010. Most notably, Jack was an annual participant in the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and was one of only a handful of writers to have advanced in the competition seven times.

For more information, view Jack H. Bailey's Facebook page.


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