The Road to Reckoning
A novel that hits right to the heart of fans of Cold Mountain and True Grit. Set in 1837, this is the completely compelling story of 12-year-old orphan Thomas Walker and his treacherous journey home through the wide open lands of America.
‘I, to this day, hold to only one truth: if a man chooses to carry a gun he will get shot.
My father agreed to carry twelve.’
Young Tom Walker cannot believe his luck when his father allows him to accompany him on the road, selling Samuel Colt’s newly-invented revolver. They will leave behind the depression and disease that is gripping 1830’s New York to travel the country together.
Still only twelve years old, Tom is convinced that he is now a man. Fate, it seems, thinks so too …
On the road west the towns get smaller, the forests wilder, and the path more unforgiving. A devastating encounter cuts their journey tragically short, and leaves Tom all alone in the wilderness.
Struggling to see a way home, he finds his only hope: ageing ranger Henry Stands, who is heading back east. Tom’s resolve to survive initiates an unlikely partnership that will be tested by the dangers of the road ahead, where outlaws prowl.
”'It’s a thrilling, violent, dangerous piece of old-fashioned storytelling that is also humane and unshowily moving” - THE TIMES
”'As simply told tales go, this is one of the best. It shares with its hero a plain eloquence and a determination and a grace rare in the world and in books. Give The Road to Reckoning to every man you know and they'll thank you for it” - JOSHUA FERRIS, author of The Unnamed
‘Compelling, gripping and beautiful … a poetic page-turner with precision and heart. In Thomas Walker and Henry Stands Robert Lautner has created characters who live in the memory long after the book is closed’STEPHEN KELMAN, author of Pigeon English -
”'This quiet triumph of a novel, a sad and impeccably nuanced tale set against a finely drawn landscape of early pioneer America, left me just amazed and delighted: it will surely establish Robert Lautner as a storyteller of the first order” - SIMON WINCHESTER, author of Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories
”'A twisty, gripping first novel from British author Lautner…a robust debut that wears its meticulous research lightly” - KIRKUS REVIEWS