You never specifically are told this in the book, but with all of the talk of The Trail and people riding horses and their being saloons, this book has a very Wild West feel. Carol is a vivacious,. kind woman who plays hostess in their small town often, with her husband Dwight at her side. But there is more to Carol then meets the eye, she has this strange illness like the worst type of narcolepsy ever. She suddenly falls into a coma like state where she can here everything happening around her but she can't move. After the death of a close friend, only two people in the world know about her condition - Dwight and James Moxie, the first man she ever loved but who was too scared of her condition to stay so he ran off and became an outlaw on The Trail. This becomes a problem when Dwight, sick of being in his wife's shadow and wanting all of her money to himself decides to bury her alive during one of her spells. It's. Always. The. Husband. When James finds out and hurries to be save her, Dwight hires a hitman to take out James.
So, the hitman is the best/ scariest part of this book. His name is Smoke because he loves to burn people and things. There are more people who are killed in fires in this book then I think any other book I've ever read. It's kind of a lot. I'm getting the heebeejeebies just thinking about him, if I'm honest.
What I liked about this book was the magical realism element. Carol's illness, the fact that Smoke is like the literal devil, and the fact that James is rumored to kill people without actually drawing his gun. The downside of the book for me is that the ending, which is supposed to be huge and climactic felt like a little bit of a let down. And the big twist is kind of a deus ex machina.
This book would translate well into a movie. (Why do I feel like when I say that it's a bad thing? It's not!)
A good, solid 3.2 out of 5 stars for this book.