Man Wanted in Cheyenne

Fiction - Western
220 Pages
Reviewed on 03/01/2023
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Author Biography

Richard C. McPherson’s short stories have appeared in Living Springs Anthology Stories Through the Ages, the Black Fox Literary Journal, the Unleash Press 2022 Anthology Conversations, The Write Launch, Twelve Winters Journal, and Bright Flash Literary Review. His first novel, Man Wanted in Cheyenne, was released in January 2023 by Unleash Press and has been called “smart, funny and tender,” and “satisfyingly original.” He taught digital communications at New York University and UCLA, and lives in California His website is

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joshua Olokodana for Readers' Favorite

Man Wanted in Cheyenne by Richard C. McPherson is the story of a cowboy named Jake. Jake was miserable. If people were ranked according to how much luck they’ve had throughout their lives, Jake would be the most unlucky by a mile. From his parents’ unhappy marriage, through his troubled youth, he’d never known happiness until he met Sarah. For the first time, Jake looked forward to the future, although all he wanted in life was a happy family and a small herd of bison. But demons don’t die easily, do they? The ghosts of his past caught up with Jake again as Sarah was first taken from him in a tragic accident. Then years later, the Circle J ranch—his emotional sanctuary—was also upended when movie director and bison enthusiast Robert Lange made it a movie set. It was a tumultuous period, but out of it came a chance to fulfill his bison dream. Lange asked him to be the ranch manager. For any other person, this would be a lucky break, but for Jake, it is a race against his rotten luck. Will he fulfill his dream or be unfortunate again?

Richard C. McPherson’s Man Wanted in Cheyenne is an engaging story that speaks to the soul. A character-driven book that showcases what it means to experience loss, grieve, and pick yourself up after getting put down in life. No, it is not a sob story. There are intense moments of raw human interaction and of Nature showing who is in charge. Right from the beginning, I felt like the author was telling me a personal story straight from the heart. Each chapter was alive and filled with emotion. Man Wanted in Cheyenne might be fiction with western themes, but it was every bit as real as life. The portrayal of Jake, in particular, was so vivid and relatable that I always felt him reach for peace within himself anytime life came at him. Richard also painted other characters in incredible detail, which showed his proficiency in storytelling. This novel has everything you want in a story. Whether you want an engaging plot, a plot twist that can make you fume, or just a good old yarn to lose yourself in, Man Wanted in Cheyenne is the book you should read.

Pikasho Deka

Man Wanted in Cheyenne is a slice-of-life drama by Richard C. McPherson. Jake lives a humdrum life managing a large cattle ranch in remote Nevada. Haunted by the death of his wife, Jake derives satisfaction from tending to farm animals for his boss, Mr. James. But when Hollywood star Robert Lange arrives at Circle J to shoot his new western movie, Jake unexpectedly strikes a burgeoning friendship with the man. Robert invites Jake to his Colorado ranch, eventually offering him a job where he can pursue his dream of starting a bison herd. At the same time, a freak fire at Circle J forces Jake's hand, and he soon finds himself working for Robert. But sometimes, fate can be a cruel mistress, and not everything goes according to plan. Will Jake ever find his true calling?

Man Wanted in Cheyenne is a heartfelt story about a middle-aged man's search for self-discovery and true purpose in life. Richard C. McPherson perfectly demonstrates how being closer to animals and nature grounds us as human beings and gives us a fresh perspective on the pursuit of fulfillment and the meaning of life. Jake is a man who relishes his life on a ranch but when his ambition starts to get the better of him, he realizes what it means to be grateful for what he already has. McPherson's prose brings a lot out of his characters, and you find yourself thoroughly invested in their story arcs. Overall, a beautiful tale about a 21st-century rancher.