A man of the Old West confronts a new world: “A powerful novel, fully felt and beautifully written” (T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times–bestselling author of The Last Good Guy).
A Western Writers of America 2019 Spur Award Winner
This novel from an author Dennis Lehane calls “a writer to watch, a comet on the horizon” tells the story of Nate Cooper, an old-school cowboy released from a Montana prison in 1910, having served nearly thirty years on a wrongful murder conviction. He can see the world has changed—horses giving way to motorcars, his old nemesis running for governor, his girl marrying his best friend—but Nate’s moral compass is still unwavering. He does all the wrong things for all the right reasons.
So when he returns to his town to find the Blackfoot Indians—the people he went to prison trying to defend—are still being cheated out of their territory by ranchers, Nate can’t just stand by. With grit, determination, a quick trigger finger, and the help of the woman he used to love, he sets out to settle the score and force some justice into the changing world. Before long, though, he’ll discover that justice doesn’t come cheap.
“The Return of Kid Cooper can claim a secure place in the canon of literature of the American West. Brad Smith’s tale of old-fashioned courage and western justice is reminiscent, in its high drama, wit, and splendid idiosyncrasy, of Lonesome Dove. I was reminded also of Annie Proulx’s laconic Wyoming stories, and that most iconic of Western loners, Shane.” —John Hough Jr., author of Little Bighorn
“A compelling, action-packed romp through politics, romance, morality and history.” —Toronto Star