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Under Tower Peak

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  433 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
 After two tours as a sniper in Iraq, Tommy Smith has returned to his former life as a cowboy and wilderness guide in California’s Sierra Nevada, hoping to reclaim the simplicity of his youth and heal the wounds the world can’t see. Wh
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Arcade Publishing
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oh, Bart. You made me think you didn't know what you were doing at first. A first person narrative? A somewhat confusing beginning? No idea who's who at the start? I soon realized the gradual reveals and fun characters you were dropping were intentional, and my curiosity grew. It didn't take long after that for me to become engrossed in your story of these two mountain cowboys and all their horse wisdom. Tommy's stoic assurance made me feel safe. We all can depend on Tommy. But even Tommy can't ...more
Jul 02, 2014 Christina rated it really liked it
I read 3/4 of this book in one night... I ended up going to bed 2.5 hours past when I originally thought because once you start this book, you cannot put it down. I read the remaining 1/4 during my lunch hour because I just had to continue the story! I essentially inhaled this novel. I was disappointed that Bart Paul seems to have written only this book because I would surely read more like this.

It's a thriller set in the Eastern Sierras of California just north of Mammoth and east of Yosemite.
Peter T. Tomaras
Aug 03, 2013 Peter T. Tomaras rated it really liked it
"The Tetons were flashy, cold, bloodless Eurotrash mountains—too spectacular for their own good. They were the mountain equivalent of supermodels. The Gros Ventres were a rich graveyard of human history—both American Indian and early white—that held their secrets close and refused to accommodate the modern era. The Wind River Mountains were what the Tetons wanted to be: towering, incredibly wealthy with scenery and wildlife, vast, and spiritual. The Bighorns, Joe’s mountains in Northern Wyoming ...more
Nev Thomas
Mar 20, 2013 Nev Thomas rated it really liked it
Rather good western type thriller
Gregory Cassileth
Aug 05, 2013 Gregory Cassileth rated it really liked it
Such a nice voice the narrator/hero has! It felt serene although it's a thriller.
Mike Flynn
Mar 22, 2017 Mike Flynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Modern day western

An excellent story with well drawn characters and a plot that moves well through most of the book. A couple good twists along the way. At times the level of detail the author uses to describe the care of the stock tends to distract from the story, but it always sounds authentic. Gritty, suspenseful and entertaining.
Kresti Lyddon
Feb 19, 2017 Kresti Lyddon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tommy Smith is quite a guy! This was a good, twisty, turny tale! Bart Paul has written one more book, so far, but I hope there will be many more!
Don Hackett
Dec 29, 2016 Don Hackett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclosure: I climbed Tower Peak in 1969. It's a real mountain whose distinctive shape gives its name to the map quadrant it is located in. I approached from the West--Yosemite--side, while the action in this book is set on the East side of the Sierras, fictional cities and counties overlaying a real landscape of jagged mountain peaks, forests, and meadows. Part of my response to this book is the thrill of recognition and consequent memories.

The cover calls this book a thriller, and the sub-genr
Richard E.
Apr 16, 2016 Richard E. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great story. Two outdoorsmen, working to clean up hiking and riding trails for the Forestry Service, stumble on the crashed airplane and find the body of a billionaire that had been missing for months. After removing some items from the aircraft, they head back down from the mountains. Lester has taken an expensive watch and a chunk of money from the crashed aircraft and his friend, Tommy is pissed off and demands they return the money and watch to the crash site. Lester lets it slip to his gi ...more
neat first novel about some eastern sierra packers/bucaroos who find a wrecked airplane high in the wilderness peaks. and the dead dude in the plane too. lester, not too bright, takes dead guy's gold rolex and a big wad of cash from the cockpit, and hell ensues. cuban mobsters, LA lawyers, a hot deputy and a dunderheaded sheriff all clash, with high powered weapons. tommy, the smart one, is a 2 tour-in-iraq sniper. guess who wins? sort of mystery and thriller and western has very accurate natura ...more
Helen Dunn
Plot is interesting and action packed but I was not engaged with any of the characters so that made everything have less impact.

I could totally imagine this as a movie or like an episode of Justified or something similar.
Aug 24, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing
Under Tower Peak is a terrific read if you love thrillers, the Eastern Sierra of California or just plain good writing! Luckily I love all three and found this to be one of those rare books I wanted to read straight through without putting down. Paul creates a dynamic sense of place in which to cultivate the novel’s action and characters. Besides making you feel like you are right there in those glorious mountains, you also gain a healthy knowledge of contemporary cowboy life. Tommy Smith, the m ...more
Daniel Babka
Apr 02, 2016 Daniel Babka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Fine Piece Of Work, April 2, 2016

A solid, four-star book, a fine piece of work from an author who clearly sees and describes the beauty of the California/Nevada high mountain Sierra. Bart Paul's lived in the back country and sets today's cowboy/wilderness guide lifestyle on a collision course with drug runners and users without regard for the land and people around them. I'd have liked to see more interior/this is what's going on in my head character exposition, and a little less setting up/br
Nancy Jacoby
I'm no fan of packers in the wilderness. Animals truly do not want to carry people or loads into the backcountry, and the individuals who make a living or enjoy leisure time by forcing them to do so are, to me, selfish, unfeeling bastards. Despite that, I liked this thriller. The setting, the action, the characters. I suppose I am always open to stories that take place in the wilderness that is essentially local to me. Familiar place names and similarities to true-life events in this region adde ...more
Apr 15, 2016 Jacque rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I put this on my TBR list quite a while ago and had forgotten about the reviews that lead me to it, so I was very pleasantly surprised by just how good it is. Although I love Craig Johnson's Longmire series, I'm not a big fan of westerns. But this is a modern day one and a thriller as well. Tommy Smith is a hardened but likeable main character with his own sense of justice and enough compassion to make him easy to care about. Fans of Longmire and Reacher should really enjoy this one.
Ken Lindholm
Dec 03, 2013 Ken Lindholm rated it liked it
I was interested in this book based on a favorable WSJ review and plans for a trip out west this summer. Unfortunately, I was disappointed and stretched to give it even three stars. The local color and language was interesting, but the characters weren't developed and the story less than thrilling.
Jim Southard
Sep 23, 2015 Jim Southard rated it liked it
This is billed as a Western thriller, and I suppose it is, but it's more Western than thriller. The plot was a bit ridiculous and convoluted; and the story was marred (at least for me) by long and extraordinarily detailed narrative on horses, packing, and backcountry geography. That may be of interest to some, but for me it became boring and didn't seem to add much to the story.
Apr 22, 2015 Carla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dark peek into a sniper's head

Really well written with great detail about "packing in the Sierra Nevada mountains." Not my normal kind of book, so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Told in the first person by Sgt. Tom Smith, a veteran of Faluja, it's an engrossing adventure.
Jun 09, 2015 Joan rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Couldn't stop reading it. The humorous tone of the dialogue belies the grisly crime spree. The two main characters were perfect. What a change of scene and scenery! Reminds me a bit of the buddy film, "Tremors." I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the packing profession and the beauty of the mountains.
Doreen Richards
Feb 04, 2017 Doreen Richards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did not want to put it down after I started it. Some well crafted descriptions of the area high in the mountains. A laconic style of writing, as if the writer was drawling. Very effective in enabling one to use one's imagination and see the results of the action as the scenes unfold.
Completely adequate murder-mystery-thriller with flavor from residents of the American West High Lonesome country. Attitude and conversation is suited to the situation, but these competent self-sufficient folks don't say much. Cubans (criminals) and Los Angelenos (wealthy jerks) are out of their league.
Arlene E Carroll
Apr 29, 2015 Arlene E Carroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really Good Story

Not a genre I typically read, but decided to give it a shot. Great characters; I became invested in what happened to them. Riveting story line. Beautiful scenery. Quite a bit of cowboy jargon, that I had to look up, added to the story's authenticity.
Chris Conley
Jun 14, 2016 Chris Conley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tommy Smith is a veteran who wants wrangle horses, work in his beloved wild and just be. Unfortunately, he is not going to get his wish. This action-packed story kept me engrossed right from the start. I am glad I stumbled Under Tower Peak.
James Anderson
Apr 30, 2016 James Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book

This cowboys got chops. With his dad's 270 he tumbles with bad guys using his knowledge of the territory and his sniper skills to push the fight. Lives in the balance and a shamus in the saddle. This is a gem.
May 03, 2013 Lois rated it it was ok
I picked up the book because of the western mountainous setting. The main character is a retired military sniper who spent time in Iraq. He reminds me somewhat of Jack Reacher - an emotionless killer, and there were several "good and bad" guys killed. Loved the setting!
Nov 22, 2015 Pop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
I was really impressed with Paul's first book of fiction, especially since I don't think there was even one curse word or graphic sex in the entire book. How is that possible in this day and age, but very appreciated. I look forward to future books from this author.
Alex Lewis
Apr 23, 2013 Alex Lewis rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, horses
A modern day Western crime novel set in the eastern Sierras. Lots of terminology and activity related to horseback travel high in the mountains. The characters go where there are no roads and hiking would be very slow going to impossible.
leno sislin
Apr 29, 2015 leno sislin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely true story! Maybe not "true" in throughout understand

But so very TRUE IN THE FEELINGS,THE LIFESTYLE _- Are there. Still honorable people I n this world???? If so, these earthy delightful discovery and more - I will read l this man's books!!
robert f eckelman
a great read

reviting you will not want to put the book down -- great story I would guess this author has more westerns in him --
will look forward to his next book.
Apr 28, 2016 Ollie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read. It started a little slowly - but then you can't put it down. If you like mysteries this is one for you.
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