Saturday, June 23, 2012

Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley

Starvation Lake, the first book in Bryan Gruley's Starvation Lake series, went on to win the Barry and Anthony Awards for Best Paperback. Gruley may have said that he didn't know he was writing a mystery when he wrote the first one, but readers recognized the quality of this outstanding debut mystery in which he created a remarkable set of characters, including the town of Starvation Lake itself.

Gus Carpenter never intended to return home to Starvation Lake, Michigan. Once a goalie with the outstanding River Rats hockey team coached by Jack Blackburn, Gus gave up the goal that cost the team their only shot at a state championship. College and a job as a journalist in Detroit kept him away, until he returned to Starvation Lake as a disgrace, fired and facing a lawsuit. Now, as associate editor of the Pine County Pilot, he faced daily struggles to put anything worthwhile in the newspaper. And, when the sheriff finds parts of a snowmobile washed up at Starvation Lake, Gus has daily fights to get that story in the newspaper.

Years earlier, Jack Blackburn was reported to have drowned in Walleye Lake. Neither his body nor the snowmobile was ever found, but the entire town mourned the loss of the coach. So, what was his snowmobile doing washed up at Starvation Lake? Gus and his reporter, Joanie McCarthy, fight to uncover a story that even Gus is afraid of facing. And, the truth is worse than anyone in town would ever expect.

Gruley'e debut mystery is a complex story of small town politics and entwined lives and secrets. It launched a successful series filled with fascinating characters, beginning with Gus and his best friend, Soupy. In creating Starvation Lake as a community, he found a way to introduce a town where history is just a story away. Everyone knows the past and it resonates in the present. Gruley successfully manipulates the politics of a small town, and that of the newspaper business.

I may be a couple years behind in reading Starvation Lake, but it won't take long to catch up with the other two books about Gus Carpenter and Starvation Lake.

Bryan Gruley's website is

Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley. Touchstone. 2009. ISBN 9781416563624 (paperback), 370p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Melissa Dymock said...

Thanks, I'm always excited to discover a series in the crime fiction genre. I'll have to give this one a go.

Jane R said...

I'm looking forward to starting this series (and from your previous blog entry, it sounds like the author really enjoyed writing it) . Not only does it have a great story line, but I'll also learn a bit more about hockey. I love to watch the games but I'm fairly clueless about the sport as a whole. Thanks for the review!

Bev Stephans said...

This book has been lingering in my towering TBR pile. I keep meaning to read it, but still haven't gotten around to it. Your review will spur me on to read it. Thank you.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Bev. Sometimes all we need is a nudge.

Lesa said...

I'm with you, Melissa. I always enjoy discovering a new series, too.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Jane. And, for those who don't watch hockey, you can still enjoy the book!

Bryan Gruley said...

thanks for the kind words, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Bryan. And, thank you again for appearing for Authors @ The Teague.