They say there are only seven story plots and M.T. Meyer has given us traces of each of them in this compelling drama. If as Hemingway said, “every true story ends in death,” then “Gold City” is not a true story. It’s so much more! No, the author doesn’t keep death, nor sorrow from us. There will be ample reason for tears before the reader puts the book down, but those tears and the angst that will accompany them shall surely be mollified with the uplifting hope that comes when “every ‘truer’ story ends with redemption.” Like all historical fiction, the author has given us the truth while also taking some liberties. However, they are the kind of liberties that readers could hope would be afforded to themselves either in life or post-mortem; especially should history dismiss them as a “villain.” Such is the case for one dubbed a real-life criminal (Frank James) who gets a shot at redemption in Gold City. In fact, we come to find out the difference between hero and villain is perhaps not as discernable as we may have thought. Travers Gage, the hero of Gold City, is not a perfect man and yet he is a man who seems to make every individual around him better as well as the city he comes to call home. It turns out, one of those individuals is the afore-mentioned “real-life villain” who in the end becomes a “historical-fiction hero.” If that alone doesn’t make you want to pick up this book, there’s also your typical wild-west gunfights for the guys, and there’s romance for the gals. As for those seven plots, in addition to the tragedy and rebirth already hinted at, we will find plenty of “comedic” relief along the “voyage and return” of our reluctant hero, who must do what no one else will do to save the town. In addition to “overcoming the monster” of Gold City, there is a much deadlier monster within he must “gun down” before the end of his “quest.” Yes, there are rags to riches as the name of the book might suggest but perhaps not the riches the reader would imagine. The reader will be “rich” in imagination, envisioning each well-conceived character. But the contemplation won’t end there. The painstaking “what-if’s” presented by the author bleed on every well-crafted page and will keep the reader pondering long after putting the book down. You see, in the end, Gold City is not a post-civil-war story, nor a western romance nor any of those seven plots though that’s all here. Ultimately, Gold City is about the only thing that ever should make us pick up any book. Growth. This is the reason we dream and hope and agonize with each turn of the page. This is why we root for the characters in the book, real-life or fictional. Though it may be too late for them, their stories being already written, our own continue to unravel. So those pensive “what if’s” fill us with hope so long as there is still another page left to turn. Whether we seek peace with Travers Gage or redemption with Frank James, will we also come to learn the lesson of Gold City? “Sometimes blood is all that saves us.