Saturday, April 4, 2015

Jack Pine - William Hazelgrove

Jack Pine
William Hazelgrove
Koehler Books, Apr 1 2015, $18.95
ISBN: 9781940192680

On the Northern Minnesota side of the Boundary Waters that separates America from Canada, Deputy Sheriff Reuger London finds sexagenarian logger Foster Jones with a bullet in his head and his slasher vehicle burned.  Soon after that Sheriff Riechardt tells Reuger that a teenage girl Dana Reynolds staying with her parents at the Lodge claims a big Indian raped her.  Riechardt wants London to bring in the latter’s friend Tommy “Tobin” Toboken, a recent guest of Stateville Correctional Center, before the man flees to Canada.

Johnson Timber CEO Ben Johnson accuses the tree huggers for killing Foster and other loggers as a means to speed up the end of the industry in the area; the environmentalists insist not them but likely the loggers eliminating competition for the dwindling jobs.  Owners of the best Jack Pine forest, the Ojibwa Indians distrust both groups whose respective agendas fail to consider tribal needs.  In that environ, London seeks a killer and a rapist.

Armchair readers will feel transported to the Northern Minnesota forests in William Hazelgrove’s engrossing atmospheric police procedural; as even local vernacular adds to the sense of being there.  The official investigations are top rate, but it is the rustic outdoor lifestyles that hook the audience throughout.

Harriet Klausner

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