The reviews on Amazon are very good on this book. It wasn't a real page turner but it was the type of book that had me thinking about it at times when I wasn't reading it and even more so after I finished it. Recommended.
Set in the 1920's in Montana, this western is dark and disturbing. Two brothers, Phil and George, run one of the largest cattle ranches in the state. Their parents, called the old folks, live in Salt Lake City and come home to the ranch infrequently.
The two brothers are as different as night and day. Phil, lean and sharp, 40, is college educated and talented in many ways. He likes to talk, and he is widely read. He's also extremely opinionated, set in his ways, and has no time for dishonest people.
George, stocky, two years younger, is not as accomplished as Phil, flunked out of college in the first year, only reads The Saturday Evening Post, and has a kind and plodding nature.
Life goes on the way it always has until George gets married secretly. When he brings his new wife, a widow, to the ranch, Phil's world is turned upside down, and when Rose's son, a high school boy, comes for the summer, Phil hatches a plan to get rid of Rose for good.
The author, Thomas Savage, is a master story teller. His descriptions of the ranch and the country give a sense of time and place that render the plot mysteriously complex, even though his writing and sentence structure are simple, like the life of the cowboy in the 1920's was.
The characters are mostly three dimensional--Phil especially, since the story is told often from his viewpoint (even though it's the narrator's point of view).
I gave the novel four stars because to me it ended too abruptly. I had many questions at the end of the story that I thought should have been resolved. All in all, a great read!