$14.97 in softcover
$4.97 in ebook
Every Soul Is Free
The High Mountain Sheriffs Series
2014 League of Utah Writers Grand Prize Winner!
Know this, that every soul is free
To choose his life and what he'll be.
First LDS Hymnbook, 1835
How can a man choose between loyalty to his heritage and to the people he loves? In 1948,
in the mountainous world of Coalville, Utah, the grandson of a sheriff who died doing his
job, and son of a sheriff who died on the job, Sheriff Mark Willford Simms must follow his
calling and bring back to justice a man he caught once before – a man he raised like a son.
The murderer has escaped from the troopers transporting him across the state line. Simms pins
on his star, ignores his poor health, and promises his grandson that he'll be back on Sunday.
The sheriff and his posse pursue the fugitive by truck, on horseback, and on foot through a
mountainous blizzard and 100 years of history to a final confrontation, 11,000 feet up in the
Simms, a hard, matter-of-fact, molder of men, leads his four deputies on no usual manhunt.
Strong ties – from pioneer ancestors to military service – bind the deputies, the
relentless sheriff, and the skillful fugitive.
Will the ties make them stronger or tear them apart?
Praise for Every Soul Is Free
In a narrative that is as much a personal and spiritual quest as it is a manhunt, the
reader is privileged to an intimate look into the mind and soul not of a hero or of
greatness, but of something more mundane and yet ultimately more satisfying – that of
a very good man. By joining Sheriff Simms and his deputies on his quest to retrieve
an escaped convict (himself a figure of enormous complexity), we also journey toward
something like truth and self-realization, yet always grounded in the so-called "real
world," which is at times all too real and all too sad. And yet, as we are reminded
in prose that is at once eloquent and unselfconscious, it is the only one we have.
~ Joseph Conrad
Every Soul Is Free is a fully developed novel, with layers of story and layers of
meaning. At the heart of it is a man with grit and principle. This is a story of real
life and death that keeps the reader turning the pages.
~ John D. Nesbitt, award-winning author of Poacher's Moon and Dark Prairie
I congratulate Ed Massey on a fine piece of historic story telling. Many readers born as
I was in the West, will have personal memory of the places, dinner tables, towns and forests
he writes about. We all knew people from our own childhood just like his principle characters,
both the good ones and the not so good ones. (not our families, perhaps, but people we knew of).
It is easy to imagine being part of every scene.
The reader will love the authentic language and the depiction of simple people living inevitably
hard, but not necessarily tragic lives. Those folks had their deeply held societal rules, moral
codes, personal values and their humanity; Massey’s book makes a case that their solid world-view
came more from a true-grit pioneering spirit than exhortations from the religious leaders of the
day. Those earliest settlers created a social system based on survival, generating an ordered
structure of respect, authority and responsibility that survived generations. Regrettably, only
few of those that descended into our generation have re-discovered, remembered or chosen to live
by this pioneer coda, or value enough its part in our heritage. All those with a Western heritage
will enjoy Every Soul is Free.
~ Robert Whitby
Click here to see all the reviews for Every Soul Is Free!
Here's a radio interview of Edward by Voices of the West!
Sheriff Simms arrived home for Thanksgiving Dinner behind on his promise to Ebby. Washed
and in a clean shirt in time for the blessing at four was all she asked. He had told
those Wyoming state troopers to fetch the prisoner by three. He knew they had tried to
avoid him and he stuck around to take their measure. They measured up far short of the
man they were about to transport across the state line, Marion P. Hixson.
. . .
"Those troopers showed up late. I fixed 'em," he said as he reached for the carving
set, slow and deliberate. "Surprised they were, to see me there. At least, Wyoming's
got Hixson now. He's out of my hair."
"Marion Hixson is never out of your hair," said Ebby.
Edward Massey was born to his love of the West, and it grew. Raised in rural Utah, two of his
teachers persuaded him to apply for the first exchange program to send seniors to school in
Germany. On the boat, a student told him how to apply to Yale. A forty-one year adventure of
great schools, wonderful travel, and creative opportunities (even owning a Minor League baseball
team) took precedence over writing—except for talking about writing.
One day, his wife-to-be gave him a bound volume of blank pages and said “put up or shut up.”
Since 2001, he has published a novel, Telluride Promise, five short stories, and now
Every Soul Is Free. Amazon.com and Penguin Group USA named Telluride Promise a
quarterfinalist of the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, an international competition
in search of the next popular novel. Read more at
Currently at work on his third novel, Edward’s writing explores the struggles people encounter in
staying true to themselves and their ideals. He shines a light on the hard decisions made every
day, the hardest of which is to keep going. He writes of the glory in facing reality, real
stories about real working people for real reading people. He and Anne live in Connecticut,
where he writes every day. He’ll never move back West, but that is all right. He never left.
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