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Posted September 7, 2009
Pat McManus's writing is SOOOO funny!
I began reading Pat McManus' (I feel we are friends) books about 15 years ago. Those books were collections of his Outdoor Life and Field & Stream magazine articles. Shortly after I had taken up the onerous task of reading this (often) hilarious author, my long-suffering wife and bestest friend asked that I cease reading his work while she was trying to go to sleep. It seems my polite, suppressed snickers (read "out loud guffaws") were disrupting her ability to obtain optimal sleeping conditions (read "it would have been quieter at the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day"). After we had a respectful conversation about where and when it is best to read these books (read, quoting her "how you would like to read it by flashlight in a tent in the backyard!") we agreed to a compromise (I could continue to sleep in the house). After reading most (all?) of his "collection" works finding this mystery novel caused a delighted smile of anticipation to present itself on my face as I plucked it from the sale bin in one of my favorite dealer's shops.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This is the second novel Mr. McManus has penned and it is far different from his magazine articles. Missing in this book are the misleading quips (i.e., "He determined the water looked too cold to swim and decided to turn around and leave. He decided after he and jumped off the dock. He actually made it back a step before gravity took over"), the outlandish characters (like Retch Sweeny) and the improbable scenarios which came to be expected in his magazine articles. Present is a solid mystery with plenteous humor, engaging characters, a plausible plot and a setting befitting an author who has spent a lot of his time outdoors. This is a fluff mystery novel, with two murders (told after the fact), no "adult" language and one scene where the characters are unclothed (described almost verbatim as detailed in the book).
Bo Tully, the latest in a VERY long line of Sheriff's in his Idaho county, has been called to the West Branch Lodge, an upscale ski lodge, to investigate a missing person's report. When he is almost to the lodge, an avalanche very nearly crushes him and his father. The debris isolates him, along with the lodge guests, so when the bodies are discovered the murderer(s) remain in their midst. While the plot is plausible and engaging this is no Sir Arthur Conan Doyle mystery. The plot, however, has sufficient twists that I did not guess the perpetrator until the final pages.
This is a great weekend read. Good writing, little substance and an enjoyable tale, what more can be asked?