Reviewers call this novel ‘weird western’. I, however, reserve my judgement. I think Brokeheart is part mystery, part horror and only a little part western and only when it comes to the setting of the novel (where and when).
Brokeheart is the story of a young reporter who goes around by the name Kepler. He keeps running away from misfortunes and failures in his life only to end up in a tiny mining town of Brokeheart. Kepler is hungry. He is trying to carve a better life for himself, to start afresh. Kepler is hungry for money, fame and adventure. He gets it all in Brokeheart. He gets more than he can handle.
Strange things start happening in town as soon as Kepler arrives. People go missing only to be found dead in the woods. Deaths seem to be suicides or animal attacks, but Kepler sees more.
Town sheriff Beard is doing his best to keep town safe and sane and does all he can not to cause panic. But in the end, even he cannot hide from the truth.
And the truth comes from fancy train carriage. A mysterious couple lives in this carriage. They travel wherever they fancy. They spend money with no reserve. They have parties in the nights. They hunt.
Kepler and Beard face an unnatural enemy, a very hungry enemy and a very ruthless one to boot. Kepler does get his fame and his money. But it turns out to be more than he can handle.
In a sentence? I enjoyed the weirdness of this western. The story of Kepler is, once again, a story of traveller who is hungry for life and simply does not know how much he can handle until he is faced with all of it and more.
It is a story of good versus evil. It is a reminder that evil, true evil, does not stop, does not cumber itself within rational limits. This evil, be in human or supernatural form, is as primal and anarchic as it gets. One can either run or hunt it… as long as one lives.
Kepler’s story does not end with Brokeheart. It never can. The evil lives on so does Kepler’s quest to get rid of it.
Brokeheart is the story of values and their relativity. Be it new shoes or dollar bills, name on by line or picture in the paper. Everything comes at a price. And only truly important things remain.
Read this story if you are brave enough. Read this story if you still believe in good versus evil. But unlike many other stories, evil in Brokeheart does not have any redeeming qualities. Be warned.