Cover image for South of Eden
South of Eden
Murray, Earl.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, 2000.
Physical Description:
304 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Geographic Term:
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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With the Twentieth Century just underway, the establishment of the Forest Service has brought change and upheaval to the intermountain West. Cattle barons who once allowed their herds to graze unchecked across the open range are now chafing at the introduction of forest-saving restrictions. With power and fortunes at stake, secret meetings and strategy sessions are the order of the day.Three people in particular are wrestling with the changes in the land. Ellis Burke, a cowboy turned natural resource specialist, is sent to Routt National Forest to oversee these changes. He faces massive resistance from the livestock companies - and a possible threat to his life. Cassie Waddell is the determined daughter of a cattle baron - determined to see her father suffer for what he's done to her family. She enlists former Pinkerton detective Stark Preston to help her wrest the family company from his grasp. And Preston has his own agenda: he's determined, for reasons that seem a bit too personal, to see Burke fail in his mission to save Colorado's native grasslands.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Following last year's droll saddlebag romance, Gabriella, Murray's 13th novel for Forge is a gory, macabre and depressing western combining cattle-ranching politics and a murder mystery. Ellis Burke is a rookie forest ranger in the new federal Forest Service, who's sent to the mountains of northwestern Colorado in 1905 to enforce fresh grazing and timber restrictions on the feudal cattle barons who have fed at the public trough too long. Soon Ellis is the target of harassment, threats and violence, while the conflict spreads as ranchers who favor environmental protections oppose those who don't, with predictable results. Complicating the tense situation is a psychotic serial killer who kidnaps women, disembowels them and buries them inside bull elk carcasses in his horrific little mountain hideaway. As victims disappear, Ellis's sordid past catches up with him when two trigger-happy old saddle pals arrive and blackmail him. The story is brimming with unsavory lowlifes, like Rube Waddell, a powerful, greedy and belligerent cattleman who will destroy any obstacles to the growth of his empire. His daughter, Cassie, hates him, wants to ruin him and has an ugly secret of her own to protect. Everyone's got evil intentions, which intertwine complexly, yet Murray throws in a monstrous forest fire just in case it's not hot enough already. The book's heart seems noble enough, trying to describe early efforts to save North America's natural resources from depletion, but it unfolds with gruesome bloody horror, saturated with dramatic overkill. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved