Title: Starvation Lake
Author: Bryan Gruley
Notes: Debut Novel
Exceptional Debut. One of the "Must Reads" of 2009.
The small town of Starvation Lake has had better days. Due to Coach Blackburn raising up a bunch of kids from the town into a competitor for the state hockey title, Starvation Lake become a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, the team lost their one chance at the title and Coach Blackburn died in a snowmobile accident several years later.
Enter the main character, Gus Carpenter, in which the story is told in his first person narrative. Carpenter was the player who is blamed for losing the State title since he was the goalie for the team that year. He is fleeing from Detroit under mysterious circumstances at the Detroit Times and is now works at the local newspaper, The Pilot. What happens next baffles the town, as Coach Blackburn's snowmobile resurfaces in the wrong lake.
Carpenter quickly picks up some of the loose ends and starts to uncover the dark past of Starvation Lake and some of her residents.
STARVATION LAKE is a phenomenal tour-de-force. It is a compelling story with several interesting characters, each with fundamental flaws. As Carpenter starts to unravel the mysteries of Coach Blackburn and his associates/friends things start to become more and more clear. The character development is crafted to perfection, as each character becomes more and more human and as the story progresses.
Interwoven between the clues and plot lines are some wonderful recollections of hockey games and memories of the glorious past of Starvation Lake. These memories add to the realism of the town and the overall story and the accountability of the characters involved. Finding the truth surrounding Coach Blackburn's death is only the tip of the iceberg, and the reader is taken hold of and not let go until the concluding chapters.
I would not miss this book when it is released. It is probably the best book I have read so far this year. Definitely a "must read."
Plants and Books