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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Set in Mondak, Montana, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Invitation To A Hanging is a suspense drama novel by Karin Rathert. All Adam wants is to be free of his mundane life working for the town thug Jake and go some place where he can start his life anew. While rummaging through the empty buildings of the town, Adam stumbles upon a personal diary written by a prostitute that reveals the lives of his long-deceased parents. He discovers that his mother, Alta, daughter of a wealthy businessman, ran away with a strikebreaker named Stanley, seeking romance and adventure. However, things didn't go according to plan, and as Adam delves further into the writings of Lola, some deeply buried secrets will come to light that will change the course of his life forever.
Author Karin Rathert does a splendid job capturing the atmosphere of a dying town desperate to hold on to the last vestiges of the old wild west. Invitation To A Hanging is a part western, part family drama novel that tells the story of two separate generations of a family trying to carve out a life for themselves in a place on the brink of being a mere footnote in history. Each character oozes personality, and Rathert makes sure to provide them with distinct motives and traits that make a mark on the reader. I found them very compelling, especially their relationships, most notably the dynamic between Adam and Wendell. This is a book for western fans as well as for readers who love generational family dramas.