Stranger in Thunder Basin
Author: John D. Nesbitt
Published: April 1, 2009 by Dorchester Publishing
Stranger in Thunder Basin is the story of a young man who seeks to find out why someone would want to kill his guardian / grandfather, a man who cared for him like a father. This young man, Edward Dawes, needs to find out not only who did it, but why. Then he needs to see justice served. Although this is pretty much a straightforward, go-ahead kind of story, it has a few subtleties. The first stranger who appears in the tale is the assassin who kills Jake Bishop. In turn, Edward Dawes becomes the stranger who avenges Bishop’s death, and after that he is a stranger to his own mother. The whole idea of the stranger and of the ways in which one could be a stranger was an interesting one to work with. One aspect of the idea comes from Oedipus Rex, in which the title character says: Until now I was a stranger to this tale As I had been a stranger to the crime. In this context, a person is a stranger because of not knowing, and part of the action of the story is moving towards knowledge. My character Ed, like Oedipus (sometimes cited as the first detective in literature), comes to knowledge about the crime and also about his true mother and father.