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A landowner fights to protect his Colorado property from soulless commercial development. 

Micah Forrester’s family has owned property in Wishbone Ridge for generations, and he loves living there. He spends the bulk of his happily sleepy days hunting and fishing and enjoying its pristine vistas. However, Willem Vossler, an entrepreneurially ambitious local, has plans to build a colossal ski resort and transform the area into a vacation destination. Micah frets about the environmental degradation such a development could cause, especially plans for a sewage treatment plant. Willem offers him an astronomical sum for his property—an offer Micah never entertains for even a moment—and refuses to take no for an answer. Debut author Corle makes sure the fictional assignment of good and evil is free of ambiguity. Willem’s henchmen are willing to badly beat a college student activist, and Micah is simply incorruptible, no matter the price. The backbone of the novel is Micah’s complexity as a character—educated to be an architect and a former Air Force Ranger, he’s a rare combination of refinement and unpretentious authenticity. Also, the romance between Micah and a local college professor unfurls with great tenderness and sensitivity. Micah’s retreat into the woods is an emotional one. He still reels from the failure of his marriage and the deaths of his parents. Corle’s impressive goal is to shatter shopworn stereotypes. Micah is an accomplished painter, and his friend Lonnie, a “local dude wrangler,” is a college-educated man. The plot is a far-too-binary lesson in morality, however, which makes it seem too eagerly didactic. Also, the dialogue can be a touch canned, reminiscent of old cop shows filled with bravado and corny one-liners: “Follow my instructions and you’ll live to bitch another day. Give me any trouble and you’ll be the ugliest damned corpse our coroner ever saw.” Corle generously fills his tale with action and drama; readers looking for fast-paced excitement will find it here.

A philosophically simplistic but entertaining ecological drama.

Page count: 524pp
Publisher: manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2019


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