The Hanging of Samuel Ash

A Hook Runyon Mystery

Book 4
Sold by Minotaur Books
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Railroad bull Hook Runyon and his dog, Mixer, are chasing persistent pickpockets on the Santa Fe line, when Hook is called to investigate a malfunctioning wigwag signal in the middle of nowhere. A young man has been strung up there, hung from the signal, and left strangled to death. Hook finds no identification on the body, other than a bronze hero's medal around the corpse's neck, with the name Samuel Ash engraved on it. Refusing to bury what seems to be a World War II hero in a pauper's grave, Hook vows to find the dead boy's family, as well as his killer.

With the casket in tow, and slowed down by an over-educated sidekick, Junior Monroe, and a stream of new tasks from the head of division, Hook finally finds his way to Carmen, Oklahoma. But no one there has ever heard of anyone named Samuel Ash. There are secrets in Carmen, most of them associated with the local orphanage and its disliked director, and Hook is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of the hanging of Samuel Ash.

Vivid characterizations, searing descriptions, and a twisty plot make Sheldon Russell's The Hanging of Samuel Ash a gripping read.

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About the author

DR. SHELDON RUSSELL is the author of five novels, including The Yard Dog, The Insane Train, and Dead Man's Tunnel. He lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Minotaur Books
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Published on
Aug 20, 2013
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781250031990
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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On a fateful day in 1889, the Oklahoma land rush begins, and for thousands of settlers the future is up for grabs. One of those people is Creed McReynolds, fresh from the East with a lawyer’s education and a head full of aspirations. The mixed-blood son of a Kiowa mother and a U.S. Cavalry doctor, Creed lands in Guthrie station, the designated Territorial Capital, where he must prove that he is more than the half-blood kid once driven from his own land.

In recounting the precipitous rise and catastrophic fall of the jerrybuilt city of Guthrie, author Sheldon Russell immerses us in the lives of Creed and other memorable characters whose ambitions echo the taming of the frontier—and whose fates hold lessons as important today as they were more than a hundred years ago.

Among the people McReynolds must contend with is Abaddon Damon. A ruthless newspaper publisher, Abaddon is quick to strike any bargain that will bring him the power he craves, and like many others, Creed McReynolds is swept into his whirlwind of greed and deception. Creed becomes the wealthiest man in the Territory—but at an unbearable cost to himself, the dreams of others, and the dignity of his mother’s people.

Dreams to Dust takes readers back to the early days of Oklahoma Territory—a sometimes dangerous place filled with nefarious dealings, where violence lurks behind even casual encounters—to tell the story of frontier men and women gambling everything to find their fortune on the windswept southern plains.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A TNT ORIGINAL SERIES

“A first-rate tale of crime and punishment that will keep readers guessing until the final pages.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Caleb Carr’s rich period thriller takes us back to the moment in history when the modern idea of the serial killer became available to us.”—The Detroit News

When The Alienist was first published in 1994, it was a major phenomenon, spending six months on the New York Times bestseller list, receiving critical acclaim, and selling millions of copies. This modern classic continues to be a touchstone of historical suspense fiction for readers everywhere.

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.

Praise for The Alienist

“[A] delicious premise . . . Its settings and characterizations are much more sophisticated than the run-of-the-mill thrillers that line the shelves in bookstores.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Mesmerizing.”—Detroit Free Press

“The method of the hunt and the disparate team of hunters lift the tale beyond the level of a good thriller—way beyond. . . . A remarkable combination of historical novel and psychological thriller.”—The Buffalo News

“Engrossing.”—Newsweek

“A ripsnorter of a plot . . . a fine dark ride.”—The Arizona Daily Star

“Remarkable . . . The reader is taken on a whirlwind tour of the Gilded Age metropolis, climbing up tenement stairs, scrambling across rooftops, and witnessing midnight autopsies. . . . A breathtaking, finely crafted mystery.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch 

“Gripping, atmospheric . . . intelligent and entertaining.”—USA Today

“A high-spirited, charged-up and unfailingly smart thriller.”—Los Angeles Times

“Keeps readers turning pages well past their bedtime.”—San Francisco Chronicle 

“Harrowing, fascinating . . . will please fans of Ragtime and The Silence of the Lambs.”—The Flint Journal
Life couldn’t be worse for archaeology grad student Jim Hunt. Having lost his funding at a major midwestern university, and his partner, he desperately needs a breakthrough to revitalize his work and his life. Could a summer dig in map-dot Lyons, Kansas, jumpstart his fledgling career? Out of options, he packs his bags.

Five hundred years earlier, Spanish conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado faces a desperate journey of his own through New World terrain. He must find the legendary golden city of Quivira. But can he trust the mysterious “Turk,” his Indian guide?

Jim and Coronado’s stories interweave in The Dig, intersecting at a fateful point.

Things don’t improve for Jim with his first steps in Lyons—and his trespass upon an ancient mausoleum. His curiosity angers the locals—including Eva, a striking but no-nonsense museum worker Jim is instantly drawn to. A local tough, Mitch Keeper—enforcer for a reclusive, wealthy landowner—seems to go out of his way to harass Jim. The sheriff thinks nothing of throwing him in jail. And then the seemingly innocuous dig turns deadly.

It’s not much better for the conquistador. After days of wandering through dusty lands with no food or water, Coronado and his men are dying. Still, the Turk beckons them on. To continue means death. But to return empty-handed is equally unbearable . . .

Sheldon Russell ratchets the tension and mystery in both narratives as Jim and Coronado close in on—or are eluded by—what they seek. Along the way, the author’s research and craftsmanship shine through. Coronado’s carefully rendered, formal speech contrasts with the casual dialogue authentic to the plains today. Even minor characters, from Stufflebaum, Lyons’s prankster taxidermist, to the inscrutable Turk leap from the page. A historical fiction thrill ride that builds to an Indiana Jones–style standoff, The Dig forces its characters—and readers—to grapple with an age-old proverb: all that glitters is not gold.
On a fateful day in 1889, the Oklahoma land rush begins, and for thousands of settlers the future is up for grabs. One of those people is Creed McReynolds, fresh from the East with a lawyer’s education and a head full of aspirations. The mixed-blood son of a Kiowa mother and a U.S. Cavalry doctor, Creed lands in Guthrie station, the designated Territorial Capital, where he must prove that he is more than the half-blood kid once driven from his own land.

In recounting the precipitous rise and catastrophic fall of the jerrybuilt city of Guthrie, author Sheldon Russell immerses us in the lives of Creed and other memorable characters whose ambitions echo the taming of the frontier—and whose fates hold lessons as important today as they were more than a hundred years ago.

Among the people McReynolds must contend with is Abaddon Damon. A ruthless newspaper publisher, Abaddon is quick to strike any bargain that will bring him the power he craves, and like many others, Creed McReynolds is swept into his whirlwind of greed and deception. Creed becomes the wealthiest man in the Territory—but at an unbearable cost to himself, the dreams of others, and the dignity of his mother’s people.

Dreams to Dust takes readers back to the early days of Oklahoma Territory—a sometimes dangerous place filled with nefarious dealings, where violence lurks behind even casual encounters—to tell the story of frontier men and women gambling everything to find their fortune on the windswept southern plains.

Life couldn’t be worse for archaeology grad student Jim Hunt. Having lost his funding at a major midwestern university, and his partner, he desperately needs a breakthrough to revitalize his work and his life. Could a summer dig in map-dot Lyons, Kansas, jumpstart his fledgling career? Out of options, he packs his bags.

Five hundred years earlier, Spanish conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado faces a desperate journey of his own through New World terrain. He must find the legendary golden city of Quivira. But can he trust the mysterious “Turk,” his Indian guide?

Jim and Coronado’s stories interweave in The Dig, intersecting at a fateful point.

Things don’t improve for Jim with his first steps in Lyons—and his trespass upon an ancient mausoleum. His curiosity angers the locals—including Eva, a striking but no-nonsense museum worker Jim is instantly drawn to. A local tough, Mitch Keeper—enforcer for a reclusive, wealthy landowner—seems to go out of his way to harass Jim. The sheriff thinks nothing of throwing him in jail. And then the seemingly innocuous dig turns deadly.

It’s not much better for the conquistador. After days of wandering through dusty lands with no food or water, Coronado and his men are dying. Still, the Turk beckons them on. To continue means death. But to return empty-handed is equally unbearable . . .

Sheldon Russell ratchets the tension and mystery in both narratives as Jim and Coronado close in on—or are eluded by—what they seek. Along the way, the author’s research and craftsmanship shine through. Coronado’s carefully rendered, formal speech contrasts with the casual dialogue authentic to the plains today. Even minor characters, from Stufflebaum, Lyons’s prankster taxidermist, to the inscrutable Turk leap from the page. A historical fiction thrill ride that builds to an Indiana Jones–style standoff, The Dig forces its characters—and readers—to grapple with an age-old proverb: all that glitters is not gold.
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