COTTONWOOD by Scott Phillips - SIGNED & NUMBERED LIMITED EDITION UK BOOKSee all titles by Scott Phillips
"In 1872, Cottonwood, Kansas, is a one-horse speck on the map; a community of run-down farms, dusty roads, and two-bit crooks. Self-educated saloon owner and photographer Bill Ogden looks on his adopted town with an eye to making a profit or getting out. His brains and ambition bring him to the attention of Marc Leval, a wealthy Chicago developer with big plans for the small town. The advent of the railroad and rumors of a cattle trail turn Cottonwood into a wild and woolly boomtown - and with Leval as a partner, Ogden dreams of bringing civilization to the prairie." "But civilizing the Great Plains was never that simple. While many in Cottonwood distrust Leval's motives, and mob violence threatens to derail the town's dreams of greatness, Ogden finds himself dangerously obsessed with Leval's stunningly beautiful wife." Meanwhile, plying its sinister trade unnoticed, an apparently ordinary local farm family quietly butchers traveling salesmen, weary travelers, and other unsuspecting wanderers.
Scott Phillips doesn't really write crime stories. He writes about criminal behaviors -- how they originate, how they transform character, how they become part of the cultural norm and, most incisively, how they flourish in certain environments. If you want to look at it historically, as he does with wit and gusto in Cottonwood, ''crime'' is just a name for behaviors that fall out of social fashion.