Title: The Moose Jaw
Author: Mike Delant
Stars: 4 stars
An action adventure, set in the Alaska bush, during a summer sojourn while a man builds a cabin and reflects upon his life. Recently downsized and divorced he finds he must rely on his wits to overcome the problems he encounters. The descriptions of the area makes you want to move to the Alaskan bush and homestead. For good measure there is also more than a touch of the paranormal thrown into the mix to keep your interest peaked.
I have rated this book 4 stars.
I obtained this book from Amazon in Kindle format.
Strange things happen in the Alaska bush. The native Alaskans say that a white man, too long alone out there will go mad. Gus O'Neill suspects it may have happened to him. His two best friends, Hard Case Calis the old Alaska State Trooper, and Haywood Jennings the flying veterinarian think so too. Gus spends a summer on Moose Jaw Creek where he builds a cabin, finds a ravaged red-haired beauty he comes to love, and murders the man who had sexually molested her. When Haywood flies in to join Gus for a moose hunt he finds his friend alone and raving. There is no evidence that Gus' redhead or the dead man he claims to have killed ever existed.
Gus is baffled by the disappearance of his woman and the body of his victim, but he agrees to join Haywood on a moose hunt. While getting in position to drive a large bull toward Haywood, Gus is attacked by a giant grizzly that has been stalking him. He manages to kill the bear but is badly mauled in the process. Haywood finds Gus and the dead bear, and flies his injured friend back to Fairbanks for treatment. The following day Haywood returns to Gus' cabin with Hard Case to deal with the dead bear. During the flight they discuss Gus' condition and his weird tale about the woman he had found and the man he'd killed. They agree Gus must have gone a little crazy while out there alone. Things become complicated when, back in the woods near Gus' cabin, they find no bear carcass. Haywood insists he had seen and touched its dead body just yesterday. The two friends return to Fairbanks as mystified as Gus. When Hard Case unearths an unsolved case file that dates back more than forty years, it becomes clear that Gus may not have imagined the woman or the murder after all. Strange things happen in the Alaska bush.
Kindle Edition, 301 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Amazon
About The Author:
Michael Delany grew up in Horseheads, NY, and after graduation from Horseheads Highschool in 1963 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. In 1966 he served with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam. After being honorably discharged from the military he returned to the U.S. to marry his hometown sweetheart and complete his education. He studied Liberal Arts at Corning Community College, NY and Pasadena City College, CA before taking his degree in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After a full career in telecommunications (AT&T, Qwest, and Global Crossing), he retired to his home in Evergreen, CO. There, he spends his time writing fiction and enjoying the mountains and streams with his wife, children, and grandsons.
The Moose Jaw, his first novel grew out of his hunting, fishing, and river rafting experiences in Alaska. The setting for the book was inspired by Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Yukon River northwest of Fairbanks, which has its source in the White Mountains. One of the main characters, Haywood Jennings, the bush pilot veterinarian who is Gus O'Neill's best friend was created much in the image of Jim Hagee. Jim is Mike's longtime friend and hunting companion. Together they floated 117 miles of Beaver Creek three times, putting in at Nome Creek Landing, and pulling out at Victoria Creek. During these floats they harvested three large moose bulls, two caribou, and countless Arctic grayling. And, yes, they had the occasional dispute with bears regarding rights to a downed moose. Fortunately, they prevailed without recourse to violence. Diplomacy served them just as well...if jumping up and down, waving one's arms furiously, and shouting like mad men can be considered diplomatic. The moose whose skull graces the cover of The Moose Jaw was killed by Jim's son Justin on a float down Beaver Creek in 2003. In 2004 Mike joined Jim, who truly is a veterinarian as well as a bush pilot, as a volunteer at the Skwentna checkpoint on the Iditarod trail during that years "Last Great Race".
On February 1st, 2013, Mike published The Moose Jaw - Book II (The Darkness and the Light), a sequel to The Moose Jaw. Gus, Haywood Jennings, Hard Case Calis, and the lovely Morgan return to Moose Jaw Creek for another adventure. This time their adversaries include a mad genius who has developed an engine that is fueled by the Northern Lights, the FBI, several old Soviet bloc countries, and a host of normal and paranormal creatures that lurk along the banks of the Moose Jaw.