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Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral (Paperback)
March 2015 Indie Next List
“This continuation of the story begun in Doc is equally engaging. From a shroud of American West mythic bombast and misrepresentation, Russell creates compelling, realistic characters with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday shown to be both heroic and heatbreakingly human. Epitaph focuses on Josie Marcus, the love of Wyatt's life. Theirs is a grand romantic tale told in hardscrabble detail, and Russell even makes what could have been cardboard villains into fully realized characters, both flawed and sympathetic. A rip-roaring good yarn!”
— Kathi Kirby, Powell's Books, Inc, Portland, OR
Mary Doria Russell, the bestselling, award-winning author of The Sparrow, returns with Epitaph. An American Iliad, this richly detailed and meticulously researched historical novel continues the story she began in Doc, following Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday to Tombstone, Arizona, and to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
A deeply divided nation. Vicious politics. A shamelessly partisan media. A president loathed by half the populace. Smuggling and gang warfare along the Mexican border. Armed citizens willing to stand their ground and take law into their own hands. . . .
That was America in 1881.
All those forces came to bear on the afternoon of October 26 when Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers faced off against the Clantons and the McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona. It should have been a simple misdemeanor arrest. Thirty seconds and thirty bullets later, three officers were wounded and three citizens lay dead in the dirt.
Wyatt Earp was the last man standing, the only one unscathed. The lies began before the smoke cleared, but the gunfight at the O.K. Corral would soon become central to American beliefs about the Old West.
Epitaph tells Wyatt's real story, unearthing the Homeric tragedy buried under 130 years of mythology, misrepresentation, and sheer indifference to fact. Epic and intimate, this novel gives voice to the real men and women whose lives were changed forever by those fatal thirty seconds in Tombstone. At its heart is the woman behind the myth: Josephine Sarah Marcus, who loved Wyatt Earp for forty-nine years and who carefully chipped away at the truth until she had crafted the heroic legend that would become the epitaph her husband deserved.
A note of caution: this book will ensnare your life and you won’t be able to put it down until the final, anxiety-filled page is turned. On the surface, this is a pretty straightforward mystery: A supermodel with a troubled past is deemed by the police to have committed suicide when her body is found on the ground below the balcony of her posh London flat. But her brother thinks something more sinister is at play and enlists the help of private detective Cormoran Strike. But this book is anything but straightforward. Strike, a paraplegic war veteran investigates every claim with the precision he learned in the military. He also has a troubled past… his late mother lead a life riddled with addiction and adversity. And as Strike delves further into the life of the troubled model, his own past demons and memories color his investigation. Not only is this mystery masterfully written, plotted out, and riveting, it speaks authentically to a multitude of issues like how society judges women who lead unconventional lives, psychological trauma, and the trials and intricacies of family. (Also, this book was actually written by J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym). - Linnea