THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR IS OVER BUT A NEW CONFLICT IS RAGING across the western United States. Wealthy mine owners and their political allies in Cripple Creek, Colorado, and Butte, Montana, have paid for state and private armies to brutally suppress striking miners, so when a series of extraordinary gold and silver discoveries pull Nevada out of a punishing, 25-year depression, the Silver State’s isolated mining camps are flooded with rootless, violent men determined to grab their share.
Half-mad and ill-equipped to confront his own troubled past, army veteran Shepard Sunday drifts into Delamar and takes work as a detective for the Eastern Nevada Mine Owners’ Association. When Jack Lipford, the Association’s corrupt president, pits this organization against the local miners’ union, workers begin to disappear. An old adversary’s untimely arrival draws Sunday further into this conflict with horrific force. Enraged by Lipford’s depravity and distraught over his own role as Prince Jack’s chief enforcer, Sunday is set on a collision course with his powerful boss. Betrayed by friends and hunted by his former associates, Sunday faces an impossible choice: cooperate with old enemies in the fanatical Western Federation of Miners or face Lipford’s forces alone. But with the union riddled with spies and riven with conflicts of its own, their help might just earn him a short ride to a shallow grave.
From the deserts of Nevada to the jungles of the southern Philippines, Widowmaker is a hard-bitten portrayal of a restless nation on the brink of class warfare—and of a man at war with himself. Thoroughly researched, rich with historical and fictional characters, and suspenseful from start to finish, Widowmaker lands its punches.