True Grit meets Catch Me If You Can in this electrifying debut novel whose “themes are as contemporary as breaking news” (Michael Punke, author of The Revenant).




A Novel

By Andrew Hilleman

A Penguin Original / January 24, 2017

ISBN: 9780143111474 / Price: $16.00


“This one’s a winner. . . . Crowe’s remembrances of his five wild years on the run are especially fun. . . . The attention to historical detail is illuminating throughout. . . . The supporting cast is pleasingly despicable. . . . [An] action-packed debut.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Lively . . . A raucous example of narrative invention. Pat makes for an enthusiastic narrator, and he ends his story on a surprising note that affirms man’s infinite capacity for resilience in the face of life’s harsh vicissitudes.” —Publishers Weekly

 “A rollicking great read that careens between funny and poignant, intimate and epic, action-packed and romantic. And like the best historical fiction, its themes are as contemporary as breaking news.” —Michael Punke, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Revenant

“I envy you, reader, because you’re in for at least two treats. First, WORLD, CHASE ME DOWN is a rollicking, elegiac page-turner that depicts a time and place I’ve not seen before in fiction and that stars a one-of-a-kind antihero you’ll keep thinking about days and weeks later. Second, you get to be among the first to experience the debut of a great new talent in Andrew Hilleman. So: Buy and enjoy this novel right now.” —Kurt Andersen, New York Times bestselling author of Turn of the Century and Heyday

WORLD, CHASE ME DOWN brings a patch of history forward, depicting a wide range of humans living and laughing, making mistakes and trying to do right—or sort of right. The vigor of the writing puts the story on the page with memorable bursts of power and subversive wit.” —Daniel Woodrell, New York Times bestselling author of Winter’s Bone

From The Revenant author Michael Punke to Winter’s Bone author Daniel Woodrell to Turn of the Century author Kurt Andersen, thirteen highly acclaimed novelists have praised Andrew Hilleman’s galloping, hard-nosed debut novel, WORLD, CHASE ME DOWN (A Penguin Original; January 24, 2017; ISBN: 9780143111474; $16.00). This historical Western resurrects the legend of an outlaw for economic justice who was once the most wanted man in America: Pat Crowe, a forgotten, real-life Robin Hood who committed the first great crime of the 20th century: the revenge kidnapping of the son of an Omaha meatpacking tycoon. In prose as visceral and gritty as the American frontier, Hilleman pens an unforgettable saga the likes of which are resurgent in the entertainment world—think The Magnificent Seven, The Hateful Eight, Deadwood, True Grit, and Westworld­—and that calls to mind some of our best novelists, like Allan Gurganus and Patrick DeWitt.  

More than 100 years have gone by since the fevered cross-country manhunt for Pat Crowe was dubbed “the thrill of the nation.” After five years on the run, Crowe returned to Omaha in police custody and was greeted by more people upon his arrival than President Theodore Roosevelt was greeted by when he made a campaign stop in Omaha during his reelection bid. But the novel’s author, a third-generation Omahan, had never heard of Crowe before stumbling on his story while researching another novel, nor had his grandparents. “The more I learned about Pat Crowe,” Hilleman admits, “the more I changed as a writer…. I couldn’t get his tale out of my head. It felt like that was the direction I really wanted to go to tell an Omaha story, and so this novel rose from the ashes of my previous effort.”

Hilleman wound up telling much more than an Omaha story: In charting Pat Crowe’s time as a fugitive, WORLD, CHASE ME DOWN takes the reader to Butte, Montana; Columbia, Missouri; Nogales, Arizona; New York City; Philadelphia; and Chicago, along the way taking the pulse of a forgotten American folk hero.

Thanks to Hilleman’s ebullient voice, grizzled prose, and cinematic vision, a footnote in American history has come brilliantly alive. WORLD, CHASE ME DOWN is a revelatory feat of imagination that marks the debut of an exciting new voice in contemporary American fiction, and that affords a fresh look, from the distance of over a century, at the class divides that are at the heart of our national conversation.


Andrew Hilleman was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1982. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in English at Creighton University, in Omaha, and his M.F.A. in fiction from Northern Michigan University. He has been published by The Fiddlehead and was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award. He lives in Omaha with his wife and their daughter.