|Moose Jaw by Mike Delany|
I just finished reading The Moose Jaw (The Fergus O'Neill Series Book 1) by Mike Delany. I read it in under a week, which is nearly a record for me. I generally read at night, just before bed, and often fall asleep after reading just one chapter. Or less. It typically takes me far longer than a week to read a book.
Sleep didn't come easily while visiting with Fergus (Gus) in his special cabin in the Alaska bush. I wanted to stay awake and read just one more chapter each evening.
After losing his job on the same day that he learns his wife is having an affair, Gus decides to spend some time alone in order to reflect on his life. Gus heads for the land he purchased in Alaska and plans on building a hunting cabin while regrouping. Haywood, his Alaskan hunting buddy-that-didn't-sleep-with-his-wife welcomes him with open and protective arms. They have hunted the area together and Haywood had alerted Gus to this piece of land when it came up for sale. It turned out to be a good thing that Gus had purchased it.
Or maybe it wasn't a good thing.
The Athabascan elders had previously rejected ownership of this very same land because of Yega. As he is receiving the title to the land, Gus learns that Yega is "an Athabascan word. it means spirit, or something like that... ghost, perhaps." Not very superstitious, Gus has Haywood fly him and his things to this remote land.
Reading about Gus and his cabin building, self-sufficiency, and Alaska bush living was something I enjoyed very much. Every bit of his hunting and fishing adventures rang true. The visual images of trout, salmon, bears, and other big game danced in my head. I felt as though I was along for the ride as Haywood lands the little plane at Gus's property. And I feel the solitude as Gus spends his days living and staying out of the way of momma bears and their cubs.
Gus doesn't remain alone for long. He discovers a woman in need. And a bear that seems to be lurking behind every tree. Morgan, the woman, is near death and Gus nurses her back to health.
Days count down until Haywoods scheduled return and things begin to go eerily wrong. Haywood arrives and is convinced that his friend has lost a bit of touch with reality from the solitude. Things begin to go really wrong. It takes their old Alaska State Trooper friend, Hard Case Calis to help put the pieces together for them and explain some things without possible explanation.
This story is a mixture of rugged outdoor adventure, romance, mystery, with a bit of paranormal thrown in. I typically don't choose romance or paranormal genres but I enjoyed this book very much. The male character point of view, the mystery, the reality of the hunting, fishing, and cabin building mixed with the unbelievable happenings were balanced in a way that seemed true. Even though maybe some happenings were beyond true or real.
At the writing of this review, Author Mike Delany offers this book on Kindle at .99 cents! You can't beat a good book for a dollar.
Written by Dawn Rae
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