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Mar
01

Michigan authors weigh in with books involving frozen environs

Bryan Gruley will be discussing his writing and autographing copies of his book at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, Mar. 3 at Schuler Books and Music, Meridian Mall, Okemos
Icy locations and intriguing characters abound in a pair of recent paperback novels written by authors with Michigan backgrounds. “Starvation Lake” by Bryan Gruley (Touchstone/Simon and Schuster, $14)  focuses on the determined efforts of Gus Carpenter, the editor of a small northern Michigan newspaper.

He’s digging into the death of John Blackburn, the town’s beloved hockey coach who was involved in a snowmobile accident 10 years earlier. Blackburn’s body was never recovered from Starvation Lake; there are many rumors when parts of his snowmobile surface in a different lake five miles away. Carpenter, who was a star on Blackburn’s team, but left town in shame, is trying to find out the truth about what really happened out on the ice. There are no easy answers; he must utilize all of his skills as he unearths unsettling evidence that may have wide-reaching local effects. He’s also challenged with ethical considerations about a series of stories he wrote for a Detroit newspaper that utilized privileged information.

While some readers may tire of numerous flashback hockey scenes, Gruley uses them to provide a better understanding of assorted motivations. Gruley, who’s the award-winning Chicago bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, has carefully crafted a highly enjoyable, top-notch crime novel with exceptionally strong characterization and a nifty corkscrew plot. Visit Gruley’s website by clicking here .

 

Freezing Point” by former Detroit native Karen Dionne, (Jove, $7.99) is a contemporary eco-thriller that’s set mostly in the Antarctic. It uses a futuristic premise based on creating an abundance of clean drinking water by melting and delivering Antarctic ice. There are many conflicts between an environmentalist scientist, eco-terrorists and a greedy corporate boss; researchers and possibly mankind may face a grisly fate.  Vivid scenes with worried, dedicated researchers help carry the convoluted plot, which delves into potential ways of dealing with water shortage problems. While the characters are not nearly as well developed as Gruley’s, they’re still quite believable. Dionne, who currently lives in Detroit’s northern suburbs, has created a thought-provoking tale with unusual aspects of horror; it could easily be converted into a spellbinding movie. Dionne will be at the Romeo District Library on April 18. For more information visit the Romeo Library website by clicking here. And drop into Dionne’s website visit by clicking here.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers regularly since 1987. Walsh is the organizer of the Mid-Michigan Antiquarian Book & Paper Show at the Lansing Center on Sunday March 29. For more information click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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