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Check It Out: The Trackers by Charles Frazier

This is Kelsey Patterson with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.

Today, I’m recommending The Trackers by Charles Frazier, the internationally bestselling author of National Book Award-winner Cold Mountain. Frazier fans will find his first-rate storytelling on full display in this book.

Hurtling past the downtrodden communities of Depression-era America, painter Val Welch travels westward to the rural town of Dawes, Wyoming. Through a stroke of luck, he’s landed a New Deal assignment to create a mural representing the region for their new Post Office.

Wealthy art lover John Long and his young wife Eve have agreed to host Val at their sprawling ranch. Rumors and intrigue surround the couple: Eve left behind a migratory life riding the rails and singing in a western swing band when they married. John holds shady political aspirations but was once a WWI sniper. Then there’s Long’s right-hand man Faro, a mysterious elder cowboy and remnant of the violent old west. Val quickly finds himself captivated by their lives.

One day, Eve flees home with a valuable Renoir painting from her husband’s collection in tow and Long recruits Val to hit the road on a mission to track her down. Pausing his mural project, he journeys from ramshackle Hoovervilles to San Francisco nightclubs to the swamps of Florida, and as Val’s search for Eve narrows, he soon turns up secrets that could spark formidable changes for them all.

In The Trackers, Frazier illustrates his knack for crafting simple, yet authentic dialogue—which along with its intricate plot and richly descriptive writing style had me hooked from the beginning.

Check out The Trackers and Charles Frazier’s other works available at the Sioux City Public Library.

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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