When Gil Castle loses his wife, he retreats to his family’s sprawling homestead out west, a forsaken part of the country where drug lords have more power than police. Here Castle begins to rebuild his life, even as he uncovers some dark truths about his fearsome grandfather. When a Mexican illegal shows up at the ranch, terrified after a border-crossing drug deal gone bad, Castle agrees to take him in. Yet his act of generosity sets off a flood of violence and vengeance, a fierce reminder that we never truly escape our history. Spanning three generations of an Arizona family, Crossers is a blistering novel about the brutality and beauty of life on the border.
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|Title of Philosophy eBook: Crossers|
|Release Date: 10-06-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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We fly from our time and place to the settlement of Lochiel, the present-day ghost town then home to four hundred souls: adobe houses and miners' shacks, a post office, a school, a few stores, and three saloons islanded on the mile-high grasslands of the San Rafael Valley and tethered to the outside world by a single road that writhes westward through the Patagonia Mountains to its end in Nogales, the road deeply rutted by the giant wagons trundling silver and copper ore out of the mountains to Lochiel's smelter, its stack leaking smoke into an otherwise unblemished desert sky.
The black tendril leans in a light breeze, and a faint, sooty mist sifts down on the tin roof of a nearby bungalow—the house-cum-courtroom of Joshua Pittman, the justice of the peace. A clean-shaven man of forty, wearing a collarless shirt and a vest he can no longer button over his portly torso, he is seated on a spindle-backed chair on his front porch, booted feet crossed atop the porch rail as he reads the Border Vidette. The issue is dated August 6, 1903; it's two days old, delivered from Nogales, some twenty miles away, by a mailman on horseback. The Justice, as he's often called, reads almost every word; as a leading citizen in a town most of whose inhabitants are illiterate in English and Spanish, he considers it his duty to keep abreast of events in the world beyond Lochiel.
In his dusty yard stands his nephew, Ben Erskine, a boy just past the threshold of adolescence, tall for his age, as lean as one of the ocotillo wands that fence the yard. He wears a loose-fitting cotton shirt, dungarees tucked into a pair of scruffy boots, and a high-peaked, dirty hat, its brim rolled up tightly at the sides. A...