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Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley
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3302853,111 (3.66)37
In the dead of a Michigan winter, pieces of a snowmobile wash up near the crumbling, small town of Starvation Lake -- the same snowmobile that went down with Starvation's legendary hockey coach years earlier. But everybody knows Coach Blackburn's accident happened five miles away on a different lake. As rumors buzz about mysterious underground tunnels, the evidence from the snowmobile says one thing: murder. Gus Carpenter, editor of the local newspaper, has recently returned to Starvation after a failed attempt to make it big at the Detroit Times. In his youth, Gus was the goalie who let a state championship get away, crushing Coach's dreams and earning the town's enmity. Now he's investigating the murder of his former coach. But even more unsettling to Gus are the holes in the town's past and the gnawing suspicion that those holes may conceal some dark and disturbing secrets secrets that some of the people closest to him may have killed to keep.--Publisher description (http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0904/2008016512-d.html)… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Gus Carpenter grew up in Starvation, a little town in Michigan. He eventually left town to became a reporter with the Detroit Times. The story that almost won him the Pulitzer Prize also lost him his job and his reputation. He returned to Starvation and the only job he could secure, as editor of the small town local paper working for his old boss. The townspeople haven't forgotten that Gus was the boy who allowed the winning goal that lost the local hockey team the state championship. His old coach drowned after his snowmobile fell through the ice of a local lake. But when pieces of the same snowmobile show up in another lake Gus starts to investigate what really happened, and finds more than he bargained for. This was a fantastic small town mystery story with interesting characters and a compelling story. I'll be looking forward to the next story Gruley writes. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
A remarkable debut mystery full of reminders that small town life on the east side of Lake Michigan isn't all that different than small town life on my own west side of it. Of the many plot elements that I'm almost always a sucker for, being a reporter for a modest local newspaper ranks high on the list, so the protagonist in this one really works for me, and he's surrounded by all sorts of interesting folks, many of whom have secrets of their own. And even though hockey is way down my list of sports interests, Gruley makes that aspect of the story extremely interesting, as well. Heck, I may even have to add hockey to my existing list of baseball, college football and college hoops. A central element of the main plot of this one might make some people squeamish, and I won't reveal it since I don't want to spoil the story. Suffice it to say that it is handled as delicately as possible, but no one will confuse it with a Disney movie. As usual, there are some aspects to the story that didn't work well for me, in particular the collective level of denial in a small town and some of the things surrounding a female character who seemed to be forgotten in the end. But there will always be things to question in any story, and taken as a whole, this was a great outing. And after reading the author's comments at the end of the book, I'm convinced that Gruley is a guy I'd enjoy sharing a PBR or two with, whether on his side of the lake or my own. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
OOH, I liked this even though I did kind of figure out what was happening early on. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Bryan Gruley's first mystery is a corker. What I liked best: the Northern Michigan setting, the hockey, the insight into the newspaper business, the "coming of age" feel portrayed in the character development.
Starvation Lake was well plotted and hung together, paced well and had a few surprises (without abandoning logic). Off to find what else he's published :) ( )
  debs913 | Apr 2, 2016 |
If you like hockey and intrigue, combined with small town friendships and politics, you'll enjoy this mystery! Many twists and turns. Keeps your interest until the very last page. ( )
  dottieph | May 16, 2014 |
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The cast-iron railing wobbled in his hand as he climbed the porch steps.
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Starred Review. Gruley's outstanding debut effortlessly incorporates his inside knowledge of both the newspaper business and his hockey avocation into a tale of violence and betrayal that will remind many of Dennis Lehane. After crossing an ethical line while writing an investigative series for the Detroit Times, reporter Gus Carpenter has returned to his hometown of Starvation Lake, Mich., to work for the local paper, whose stories mostly reflect the pedestrian and placid nature of smalltown life. That changes when evidence surfaces that the town's legendary hockey coach, Jack Blackburn, who disappeared after an apparent snowmobile accident a decade earlier, was actually murdered. Carpenter's reopening of the case, which has personal resonance for him (he'd been the goalie for the amateur boys' team Blackburn coached), shakes all sorts of skeletons loose. Gruley, the Wall Street Journal's Chicago bureau chief, has a gift for making all his characters, from the leads to the bit players, realistic.
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