By John Erwin
Based on the legend of Silverheels, this novel views events surrounding the early development of the Colorado gold camps through the eyes of Jedediah P. Carpenter, who was orphaned on the Nebraska prairie at the age of sixteen, then finds and loses fortune and love during the great Pikes Peak Gold Rush.
Mount Silverheels, shown on the cover, rises to 13,822 feet above sea level in the northern end of South Park, its name a tribute to the memory of a dancehall girl…
John Erwin’s book is not the usual ‘shoot-‘em-up’ type western I usually read and review here but it is a book that I believe all western fans will enjoy. It is a tale of discovery and wonder at the beauty of Colorado and the authors prose will have you feeling you are there alongside Jed.
It is a story of learning how to survive in the wilderness, how to pan for gold or make money from those consumed with gold fever. It is also a bittersweet love story, this leading to the author’s explanation as to how Mount Silverheels got its name.
Characters are extremely well crafted, their actions and feelings very believable. The story Jed Carpenter tells before heading out into the snow to die merges superbly with well-researched historical events. Jed tells of the harshness of western justice too and deals out a memorable piece of it himself.
This book runs for around 100 pages and I enjoyed every one of them. If you’re looking for a new author to try, or just a well-written story that will keep you enthralled, then I thoroughly urge you to try this.