Sins of Our Fathers (back cover)

Sins of Our Fathers

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
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Set in the backwoods of northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, Sins of Our Fathers is a gripping tale of power, loss, and the ultimate price of the American Dream. This thriller from the Heartland follows John White—better known as JW—who has just been caught stealing from his employer to support his gambling addiction. On the verge of losing everything, JW must choose between prison and his boss’s twisted plan: the sabotage of a competing, Native American banker named Johnny Eagle. But when JW moves onto the reservation to carry out this scheme, he forms an unexpected bond with Eagle’s delinquent son, a relationship that gives him both the access to do Eagle in, and a reason not to proceed.

A stunning debut from veteran screenwriter Shawn Otto, Sins of Our Fathers is “a fine depiction of how all the best intentions can—and do—go very, very wrong” (Urban Waite).

Publish Date
5.5 × 8.5 × 0.88 in
16.6 oz

Shawn Otto

Shawn Otto is an award-winning science advocate, author, and educator. He is the author of The War On Science: Who’s Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It and the cofounder of His novel, Sins of Our Fathers, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and his film House of Sand and Fog was nominated for three Academy Awards.

Praise and Prizes

  • Sins of Our Fathers is the Russian nesting doll of crime novels. An arson inside an embezzlement inside an assault inside a banking scheme, all the way down to the core of the book, which is an unflinching look at America’s original sin: five hundred years of physical and spiritual violence against Native peoples, both on and off the reservation. Crimes that made our country.”

    Attica Locke
    author of Black Water Rising
  • “Stylish … A wonderfully vivid debut.”

    Publishers Weekly
    (starred review)
  • “With precise writing and a storyteller’s eye for detail, it’s hard to believe this is Shawn Otto’s debut novel. Sins of Our Fathers is a fine depiction of how all the best intentions can—and do—go very, very wrong. A magnificent debut.”

    Urban Waite
    author of The Terror of Living
  • “Screenwriter-turned-novelist Shawn Otto has pushed his perfectly crafted characters to their limits. The result is a literary tour de force and a psychological thriller that hooked me from the first page and carried me through to its stunning conclusion.”

    Joel Surnow
    creator of 24
  • “Excellent writing and dynamic characters make this novel a page turner that stands above the rest.”

    Robert Alexander
    author of The Kitchen Boy