In the company of bank robbers and grave diggers, desperados and cunning Indians, brewers and failing inventors, Alex Capus visits the Wild West's ghost towns, where he descends into a disused silver mine and looks for traces left by the robbers who held-up stage coaches in Death Valley. Capus discovers stories that are a match for any Western: In Bodie the gravediggers used dynamite rather than shovels to blow holes in the ground; in the town of Skidoo, Hootch Simpson, a brawling bartender, was first hung by the mob, then by the law, before being beheaded during his autopsy; in Flagstaff, Capus finds that the legendary Route 66 was, for a time at least, a trail for Edward Fitzgerald Beale's 'Camel Corps'.
Alex Capus is a Swiss-French novelist who writes in German. His best-selling novel Leon and Louise was longlisted for the German Book Prize in 2011. He is also the author of the novels A Matter of Time (2009) and Almost Like Spring, as well as the travelogue Sailing by Starlight: In Search of Robert Louis Stevenson and Treasure Island.