Sunday, October 10, 2010
by Brian Gruley
Small town hockey plays an integral part in this debut novel. Thirty years ago, Jack Blackburn moved to Starvation Lake and started coaching hockey. He turned the ragtag River Rats into a contender for the Michigan state hockey championship. His motto was that that the team needed to win only one game — the Michigan state championship final. The River Rats made it to the final, but lost in overtime, due in part, to an error by their goalie, Gus Carpenter. Gus left Starvation Lake to go college to become a journalist. He was a rising star at the Detroit Times. A news reporting error sent him back to his hometown with his "tail between his legs". New he is associate editor of the Pine County Pilot and goalie in the Midnight Hour Men's Hockey League. One night, parts of an old snowmobile, with a bullet hole, washed up on the shore of Walleye Lake. Vehicle records proved that the sled belonged to Jack Blackburn. Blackburn died in a snowmobile accident ten years before — on Starvation Lake. How did the snow mobile make it was from Starvation Lake to Walleye Lake? Did the sled travel through one of the tunnels that are rumored to run between the lakes? Gus and his reporter, Joanie McCarthy, dig into the town's past trying to find out what happened. Gruley paints vivid pictures of life in Starvation Lake. For example, when Gus walks into Audrey's Diner to get an egg pie for breakfast, I can hear the dishes clatter and I can small the rich aroma of coffee in the air. In my mind's eye I can see Make-Believe Gardens, the hockey rink that Jack Blackburn built, with its goals made of two-by-fours and chicken wire. -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department
[ official Bryan Gruley web site ]
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