HUNTER'S MOON by Chuck Logan

HUNTER'S MOON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A former Special Forces killing machine and--naturally--tormented lonely guy goes on a hunting trip with an old AA buddy and finds himself sucked into a vortex of backwoods loathing and scheming. Harry Griffin is nothing if not a type, but credit first-timer Logan, a Vietnam vet himself, for lending his hero more than a modicum of relentless self-examination. Off the sauce for a decade, Harry rushes reluctantly to the rescue when a call from pal Bud Maston, a fallen favorite Minnesota son, summons him to the Maston lodge in the county named for Bud's family. That Golden Boy is not only boozing again, but he's got himself hitched to the town harlot, Jesse Deucette, who immediately begins to ply her wiles--successfully--with Harry. But the raunchy romance is short-circuited when Harry, witnessing a fight between Bud and Jesse's grown son Chris, kills the kid just as he's about to shoot his stepfather. County contempt is focused on Harry, who torments himself back in the Twin Cities until nagging questions about why Chris would take a shot at Bud in the first place send him back to Maston County. There, he does combat with a host of militant local yokels, starts drinking again himself, and gets on the wrong side of the often besotted sheriff--Chris's real father, it turns out. The sheriff's other kid by Jesse, Becky, is the only one who knows what really happened between Bud and Chris, but she's living like a wolf girl in the snowy woods. Harry's paranoid capacity for devising conspiracies grows (he's sure that Jesse and the sheriff were duplicating a deadly scam they pulled on her first rich husband), and it's left to his old Nam commander to deus ex machina a resolution. Logan's language is tough-guy perfect, but too many minor characters and convolutions of plot damage an otherwise snazzy debut.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1996
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: HarperCollins