Wyoming Book Reviews



When they Were Young: A Sam Dawson Mystery
By Steven Horn
Cheyenne, WY : Granite Peak Press, 2017

Steven Horn writes a beautifully penned Wyoming story, complete with the Nebraska Sand Hills and the Laramie Range, the University of Wyoming and the Medicine Bow National Forest as the back drop. Sam Dawson, a Wyoming man reticent to speak, share, or be in touch with his emotional side, comes off the page with richness and the absence of cliché. A struggling writer working as a photography instructor at the university, Sam challenges his daughter and his love interest, Annie, while tending to demons of his past. When They Were Young takes us back in time to a young marginalized family struggling to survive against the cruelties of young men and harsh environments. Every mystery needs haunting elements and the author provides many: a crusty old rancher, threatening events, isolated country houses, evidence in a musty barn, researched child abductions, icy winters, evidence of pornography, and a series of suspicious deaths. Reading this book will take you on familiar paths with likable folks while making your skin crawl with the nastiness of the human condition.

Cindy Moore, Assistant Director
Converse County Library

Saving Wyoming’s Hoback: The Grassroots Movement That Stopped Natural Gas Development
By Florence Rose Shepard and Susan Marsh
Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2017

Saving Wyoming’s Hoback recounts the actions of citizens working together to protect the scenic and valued Hoback Basin from drilling. The book begins with a summary of the conservation efforts as the author recounts the announcement of a buyout by the Trust for Public Land of mineral leases from the Plains Exploration & Production Company, preventing any future drilling in the area. Following this summary was a more detailed account covering the different people and their reasons for wanting conservation.

The beautiful pictures and descriptions of the area in question help to showcase why it is so special. In contrast, pictures of the Green River Basin and the gas development in that area show what could have happened in the Hoback Basin. This was an informative read that guides the reader through the intricacies of government agencies’ decisions and what citizen-run groups did to oppose those decisions. I would recommend it to those interested in conservation and who enjoy Wyoming’s natural beauty.

Jessica Anders, Library Technician
Eastern Wyoming College Library

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