4 out of 5
First of all, anything that involves Hockey and a murder mystery, well, that's my kind of book. The small resort town of Starvation Lake, Michigan has very little going for it, they have hockey and they have.... I'm not sure what else they technically have, but hockey is what brings this town together.
When the beloved hockey coach Jack Blackburn dies in a tragic snowmobile accident the town mourns, but years later when the snowmobile washes up on the wrong shore of the wrong lake local newspaperman Gus Carpenter sets out to investigate. No body really wants to know the truth, not the ex-players, who all seem to have secrets of their own and especially not the corporate owners of the small town newspaper.
Multiple story lines keeps this book flowing – murder mystery, underground tunnels, Blackburn's missing year in Canada, why Gus came back to Starvation Lake in the first place, Gus's near greatness as Starvation's goalie, how little boy's grow up and how some are still stuck in the past.
While the beginning of this books grabs you and the end won't let you go, the middle does drag for a bit. You can see the freight train of an ending coming at you, but you can't put this book down. Starvation Lake is purported to be the beginning of a new series, Gruley does set up fascination in regards to many characters, I just hope he can keep a steady forward flow and not get bogged down in rehashing what has already been said.