Starvation Lake is the first novel from Brian Gruley, the Chicago bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal.
Gus Carpenter is editor of the local newspaper and a former hockey player under coach Blackburn, killed five years earlier when Blackburn's snowmobile crashed through ice into a lake. Now Blackburn's snowmobile has washed up from a different lake. Gus investigates. A whole lot of people turn out to be different from what he remembers. This mystery twists and turns with many friends, relatives, and town folk taking turns as the main suspect. One thing is clear from the outset, Blackburn did not die in an accident, he was murdered.
Novels usually have a hero fighting for a victim. The best novels make you want the hero to win and the victim protected. I wanted Gus to win. I wanted the mystery solved. Starvation Lake has lots of interesting characters, excellent descriptions, and two main victims. Of all the characters, the two main victims were characters that did not grab me enough to want them protected or saved or anything else. For that reason, I give Starvation Lake a rating of 8 out of 10.
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The cast-iron railing wobbled in his hand as he climbed the porch steps. He nearly fell over. After three tries, he decided the doorbell didn't work. The screen door wouldn't give, so he stripped off a glove and rapped on the aluminum frame. Paint the color of pea soup was peeling off the face of the inside door.