Exceptional Debut. One of the "Must Reads" of 2009.
Apr 10, 2009
Brief Synopsis: The small town of Starvation Lake has had better days. Due to Coach Blackburn raising up a bunch of kids from the town into a competitor for the state hockey title, Starvation Lake become a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, the team lost their one chance at the title and Coach Blackburn died in a snowmobile accident several years later.
Enter the main character, Gus Carpenter, in which the story is told in his first person narrative. Carpenter was the player who is blamed for losing the State title since he was the goalie for the team that year. He is fleeing from Detroit under mysterious circumstances at the Detroit Times and is now works at the local newspaper, The Pilot. What happens next baffles the town, as Coach Blackburn's snowmobile resurfaces in the wrong lake.
Carpenter quickly picks up some of the loose ends and starts to uncover the dark past of Starvation Lake and some of her residents.
Overall Impressions: STARVATION LAKE is a phenomenal tour-de-force. It is a compelling story with several interesting characters, each with fundamental flaws. As Carpenter starts to unravel the mysteries of Coach Blackburn and his associates/friends things start to become more and more clear. The character development is crafted to perfection, as each character becomes more and more human and as the story progresses.
Interwoven between the clues and plot lines are some wonderful recollections of hockey games and memories of the glorious past of Starvation Lake. These memories add to the realism of the town and the overall story and the accountability of the characters involved. Finding the truth surrounding Coach Blackburn's death is only the tip of the iceberg, and the reader is taken hold of and not let go until the concluding chapters.
I would not miss this book when it is released. It is probably the best book I have read so far this year. Definitely a "must read."
Gus Carpenter returns to his hometown of Starvation Lake after working as a reporter in Detroit and getting into trouble by withholding the source of one of his stories. He currently runs "The Pilot," a local newspaper. He's notified about a snowmobile being found at Walleye Lake. When he arrives at the scene, Sheriff Dingus Aho refuses to give him any information. However, Gus finds that the vehicle is similar to that of legendary hockey coach, Jack … more
The plan was to leave Starvation Lake, Michigan and never come back. But 1998 finds Augustus Carpenter, known to all as "Gus" back home after his successful newspaper career exploded on him in Detroit. Both he and the town are still haunted by the goal he let in close to the end of the state championship game and both have never been the same. Now at thirty four, Gus is backing home, once again working for the local paper, Pilot. He lives in a small apartment above the storefront … more
Chicago Wall Street Journal bureau chief Gruley has hit on a winning combination for his debut novel - visceral amateur hockey and in-your-face small-town newspapering. Narrator Gus Carpenter, goalie and editor of the Pilot, isn't too happy about either role. He had escaped insular Starvation Lake, Michigan, and landed a job at the Detroit News intending never to look back. But the big story that was supposed to win him a Pulitzer earned him a one-way ticket back home in disgrace … more
I've always enjoyed mysteries. The problem is that there seem to be more cliches per page in the genre than in almost any other. Not so with journalist Bryan Gruley's first novel though, which is why I really enjoyed Starvation Like. Gus Carpenter is a newspaper reporter who's lost his job at the Detroit Times and returned to the small, seen-better-days summer resort town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan he grew up in to take a job as editor at the small local paper. Years … more
This book has a very "Mystic River" feel to it. Even the titles are similar as they both reference bodies of water. Gus Carpenter is a reporter for the local newspaper (The Pilot). One day he spies the police recovering what looks like the snowmobile that belonged to his hockey coach (Blackburn) who supposedly drowned in Starvation Lake several years earlier. As Gus tries to investigate the details of what actually happened to Blackburn, everybody seems to not want to talk to him from the police … more
Starvation Lake by Bryan Gulley is the first in what promises to be a good series involving Gus Carpenter, editor of the Starvaton Lake newspaper. Starvation Lake is a small town in Michigan, replete with small town characters and small town mysteries. Years ago, the town's beloved hockey coach disappeared in a snowmobile accident on a nearby lake. When his snowmobile washes ashore on the shore of the wrong lake, Carpenter starts to investigate and uncovers disturbing indications that the coach … more
I had a feeling that I would really enjoy Starvation Lake. I have spent several years in northern Michigan plus I am a big fan of hockey... "Starvation Lake' fuses these together into a murder mystery. What is not to love? Well too be honest I have several complaints. First the things that I enjoyed- - Pretty decent page turner. I finished the book (370 pages) in about a week. - I liked the "film noir" aspect of the story - it definitely has … more
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The small town of Starvation Lake has had better days. Due to Coach Blackburn raising up a bunch of kids from the town into a competitor for the state hockey title, Starvation Lake become a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, the team lost their one chance at the title and Coach Blackburn died in a snowmobile accident several years later. Enter the main character, Gus Carpenter, in which the story is told in his first person narrative. Carpenter was … more
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In the dead of a Michigan winter, pieces of a snowmobile wash up near the crumbling, small town of Starvation Lake -- the same snowmobile that went down with Starvation's legendary hockey coach years earlier. But everybody knows Coach Blackburn's accident happened five miles away on a different lake. As rumors buzz about mysterious underground tunnels, the evidence from the snowmobile says one thing: murder.
Gus Carpenter, editor of the local newspaper, has recently returned to Starvation after a failed attempt to make it big at the Detroit Times. In his youth, Gus was the goalie who let a state championship get away, crushing Coach's dreams and earning the town's enmity. Now he's investigating the murder of his former coach. But even more unsettling to Gus are the holes in the town's past and the gnawing suspicion that those holes may conceal some dark and disturbing secrets secrets that some of the people closest to him may have killed to keep.