Into the Face of the Devil (California Gold Rush)

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9780985127480: Into the Face of the Devil (California Gold Rush)
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A masterly portrayal of a coming of age romance in the California gold rush.

Stands with the best of both western and general historical fiction.

A teen age boy aching to prove he’s a man

A pretty girl searching for her missing Pa

A claim jumping scheme so evil the devil himself must be behind it

When Lacey showed up in the gold rush boomtown of Hangtown where Tom helped in the cafe, he was smitten. About the only pretty girl in the whole of gold country she was looking for a Pa who’d come to the mines and disappeared. Tom had to help her, but as soon as he did somebody shot at him and things went south in a hurry. Then he learned that Lacey’s pa was an important officer in the army who’d been working undercover in San Francisco during the Mexican War and he knew he’d stuck his nose deep into the evil skullduggery of some very bad men. If he didn’t find her pa soon the next goose cooked would be his. That notion chilled him to the bone.

“Into the Face of the Devil, gives its readers a wild ride—literally. With his wonderful ear for authentic dialect, vivid descriptions of the land, page-turning action and mouth-watering descriptions of local recipes, he creates a great sense of time and place while offering a thoroughly entertaining tale. In short, Putnam does historical western fiction right: he takes his vast knowledge of the California Gold Rush era and brings it to life.” Laura Schulkind, author and poet

"If you want a good page-turning story written by a master of his craft whose vivid characters triumph and fail, find love and defeat during the fantastic age of the California gold rush then John Putnam’s books are a sure-win ticket." John Lacklen, Author

Visit John's website at or his blog at

INTO THE FACE OF THE DEVIL – Old west action, adventure, and mystery in a powerful coming of age romance set during the California gold rush.

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About the Author:

     John came west as a young man and settled in Berkeley where he graduated from the University of California. He still lives and writes there and often gives a talk on the California gold rush to the gang at the Freight and Salvage.     He spent a lot of time digging into that gold rush too and many of his stories take place back then. John's characters are so real they'll jump right off the page and talk to you; his villains have hearts as cold as midnight and his heroes almost always do the right thing in the end.     He's working up quite a reputation for his knowledge of that era too. His blog, My Gold Rush Tales, attracted the interest of some TV folks and he appeared in a segment for the Travel Channel about Henry Meiggs, the man who built San Francisco's famous Fisherman's Wharf.     While his first novel, Hangtown Creek, a story of adventure, romance, and coming of age in the early days of the gold rush, was published in 2011, his brand new book, Into the Face of the Devil, moves between Hangtown and the sawmill where James Marshall first found gold, and pits a young man in love for the first time against a killer so evil he could pass for Satan.


"A masterly portrayal of coming of age in a sometimes brutal era" - R. Dunbar

"While this story has excitement, a heart-wrending plot, and a gripping climax, it is the characters that really caught my imagination..." - Alon Shalov

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780990962915: Into the face of the devil: A love story from the California gold rush

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0990962911 ISBN 13:  9780990962915
Publisher: John Rose Putnam, 2015