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A Hanging at Cinder Bottom (2015)

by Glenn Taylor

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471442,364 (3.75)None
"The year is 1910. Halley's Comet has just signaled the end of the world, and Jack Johnson has knocked out the "Great White Hope," Jim Jeffries. Keystone, West Virginia, is the region's biggest boomtown, and on a rainy Sunday morning in August, its townspeople are gathered in a red-light district known as Cinder Bottom to witness the first public hanging in over a decade. Abe Baach and Goldie Toothman are at the gallows, awaiting their execution. He's Keystone's most famous poker player; she's the madam of its most infamous brothel. Abe split town seven years prior under suspicion of armed robbery and murder, and has been playing cards up and down the coast, hustling under a variety of pseudonyms, ever since. But when he returns to Keystone to reunite with Goldie and to set the past right, he finds a brother dead and his father's saloon in shambles--and suspects the same men might be responsible for both. Only then, in facing his family's past, does the real swindle begin."--Publisher's website.… (more)
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A tall-tale of con men, gambling, loose but virtuous women, and a sprawling coal boom town in West Virginia. The author's diction seeks to create a bit of that ol' timey air with his choice of words and syntax, and for the most part it works.

Entertaining, with a slow build and a thrilling finish. ( )
  barlow304 | Dec 20, 2015 |
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This one is for the people of McDowell County, West Virginia, past, present, and future.
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The condemned man wore no shoes.
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"The year is 1910. Halley's Comet has just signaled the end of the world, and Jack Johnson has knocked out the "Great White Hope," Jim Jeffries. Keystone, West Virginia, is the region's biggest boomtown, and on a rainy Sunday morning in August, its townspeople are gathered in a red-light district known as Cinder Bottom to witness the first public hanging in over a decade. Abe Baach and Goldie Toothman are at the gallows, awaiting their execution. He's Keystone's most famous poker player; she's the madam of its most infamous brothel. Abe split town seven years prior under suspicion of armed robbery and murder, and has been playing cards up and down the coast, hustling under a variety of pseudonyms, ever since. But when he returns to Keystone to reunite with Goldie and to set the past right, he finds a brother dead and his father's saloon in shambles--and suspects the same men might be responsible for both. Only then, in facing his family's past, does the real swindle begin."--Publisher's website.

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