Published by
Arcade (2018-02-27)
Current material
Final Pages
Original language
Adventure fiction: Westerns


by Smith, Brad

In the style of Cormac McCarthy, a gritty tale of justice and revenge in the Wild West.

The year is 1910.
Nate Cooper is an old-school cowboy. He sees the change brought by the turn of the century - horses giving way to motorcars, his girlfriend marrying his best friend, and his nemesis running for governor - and reckons none of it to be good. The west is being tamed, and with progress, some things are lost. But people? They tend to stay the same. Even after spending nearly thirty years in a Montana prison for a wrongful murder conviction, Nate's moral compass is true and unwavering: he does all the wrong things for all the right reasons.

So when he returns to his Northern Montana ranching town to find the Blackfoot Indians - the people he went to prison trying to defend - are still being cheated out of their territory by ranchers, Nate can't rest on his laurels. With grit, determination, a quick trigger finger, and the help of the woman he used to love, Nate sets out to settle the score and force some justice in into the changing world. Before long, though, he'll discover that justice doesn't come cheap.

Brad Smith was born and raised in southern Ontario. He has worked as a farmer, signalman, insulator, truck driver, bartender, schoolteacher, maintenance mechanic, roofer, and carpenter. His novels include All Hat (a 2007 major motion picture staring Keith Carradine), Big Man Coming Down the Road, Busted Flush, Crow' s Landing, One-Eyed Jacks (nominated for the Dashiell Hammett Prize), Red Means Run, Rough Justice, and Shoot the Dog. He lives in Dunnville, Ontario, near the north shore of Lake Erie.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Annelie Geissler

Available View on Rightsdesk



Brad Smith has got the goods - he's funny, poignant, evocative, and he tells a blistering tale. A writer to watch, a comet on the horizon.

Quote: Dennis Lehane, award-winning author of Mystic River

Men trapped outside their times - it was the great theme of Sam Peckinpah's best movies, and Brad Smith makes it his own in his first-rate novel, The Return of Kid Cooper.

Review: True West magazine

The Return of Kid Cooper is Brad Smith at his best - clear-eyed, tough-minded and true of heart. Smith - once a farmer, signalman, truck driver, bartender, teacher and carpenter - understands that work will take its toll, even when it's the only thing holding a soul together. This is a powerful novel, fully felt and beautifully written.

Quote: T. Jefferson Parker, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author

From the soft click of a cue ball in a quiet saloon, to lovers on the run reuniting after thirty years, or the blast of a .44 at the final shootout, Brad Smith can really tell a story. He paints this elegiac tale of early twentieth-century Montana on a big canvas with the easy authority of Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove and the unflinching violence of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest, pulling the Western into this new era with heartbreaking intensity, where tenderness and threat exist in every character, and on every page.

Quote: Bart Paul, author of Under Tower Peak and Cheatgrass

The Return of Kid Cooper is a western set in the forgotten time between horses and the sterilizing of the American West. Kid Cooper is a classic tragic hero and Brad Smith's rendering of him is full-hearted and poignant.

Quote: Dan O'Brien, author of Buffalo for the Broken Heart

A compelling, action-packed romp through politics, romance, morality and history by author Brad Smith...

Review: Toronto Daily Star

The Return of Kid Cooper can claim a secure place in the canon of literature of the American West. Brad Smith's tale of old-fashioned courage and western justice is reminiscent, in its high drama, wit, and splendid idiosyncrasy, of Lonesome Dove. I was reminded also of Annie Proulx's laconic Wyoming stories, and that most iconic of Western loners, Shane.

Quote: John Hough, Jr., author of Little Bighorn

A tour de force. Brad Smith explores powerful universal themes while bringing to life unforgettable characters that make this book a must read. If Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, and Elmore Leonard collaborated on a book, it might sound very much like The Return of Kid Cooper.

Quote: D.B. Jackson, Winner of the Western Heritage Award, author of Slow Moving Parts

Brad Smith is a writer with lots of skill, lots of heart, [and] lots of brains.

Quote: Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls and Mohawk

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