The Border Trilogy of the 1990s turned Cormac McCarthy from an obscure, reclusive author into a fêted, movie-adapted but still reclusive bestselling writer. Set in the 1940s and 1950s (although it’s forgivable to assume that All the Pretty Horses, the first and best-known novel, takes place much earlier), they essentially portray the last cowboys. In the bleak, elegiac No Country for Old Men, set in a more or less contemporary Texas, he turns his attention to another central figure of the Western, making his hero and mouthpiece one of the last old-style sheriffs.
The novel is a glorified chase thriller, which begins with Moss, a Vietnam veteran and retired welder, making a discovery. While out hunting in the Texas–Mexico borderlands, he finds three abandoned cars containing two dead bodies and a third man who’s barely alive – clearly the result of drug couriers