Winner of the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2015.
Rural Montana in the 80s. Pete Smith is a young social worker with huge problems of his own. In attempting to return a near-feral lad to his family he becomes obsessed with the reclusive mountain people fearing the end of the world. All the way through this impressive book Pete is rescuing children from dysfunctional homes. The tale is told in a gentle rural vernacular that sings. Beside it is an interview or confession questioning his daughter’s reaction to we know not what. These sections build the mystery. It is an amazing book, multi-layered, hypnotic, compulsive and beautifully written. A big American novel not to be missed.
The CWA judges said of the book: "A powerful evocation of the rural America time has forgotten and the casualties in its wake. Both harrowing and life enhancing, a towering achievement and insight into a world many of us would rather ignore."
This is a dark and powerful debut novel set in the hardscrabble American heartlands. 'If I knew for a certain'ty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life...' Set in the mountains, valleys and close-knit communities of rural Montana in the early 1980s, Fourth of July Creek is a dark, powerful debut novel about a young social worker called Pete, who struggles to hold together the lives of the most dysfunctional inhabitants of the town of Tenmile, as his own life begins to fall apart.
|Publication date:||5th February 2015|
|Publisher:||Windmill Books an imprint of Cornerstone|
|Primary Genre||Thriller and Suspense|
Closing date: 20/02/2022
'This book left me awestruck; a stunning debut which reads like the work of a writer at the height of his power. Begins with the story of one struggling man and his family and soon seems to encompass and address all of modern America's problems. Fourth of July Creek is a masterful achievement and Smith Henderson is certain to end up a household name.'
- Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Son
'Fourth of July Creek knocked me flat. This gorgeous, full-bodied novel seems to contain all of America at what was, in retrospect, a pivotal moment in its history. In the story of Pete Snow's struggle to save families, children, lives - his own and others' - Smith Henderson has delivered nothing less than a masterpiece of a novel.'
- Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk
'Smith Henderson's Fourth of July Creek is an astonishing read. The writing is energetic and precise. The story is enthralling. Henderson has a mastery of scale that allows this particular place and these particular people to illuminate who we are as Americans, and the consequences of the complex project that has become our nation. I could not recommend this book more highly.'
- Kevin Powers, bestselling author of The Yellow Birds
Smith Henderson is the recipient of the 2011 PEN Emerging Writer Winner (in fiction). He was a 2011 Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing at Bucknell University, a 2011 Pushcart Prize winner and a Michener Center for Writers Fellow. Henderson's short story manuscript was a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award and he was a two-time finalist for the University of Texas Keene Prize, the world's largest student literary prize. His fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, One Story, New Orleans Review, Makeout Creek, and Witness. He has worked as a prison guard and social worker, experiences which informed his first novel ...More About Smith Henderson