Hunter's Moon

Hunter's Moon

2.2 5
by Chuck Logan

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Harry Griffin is a loner who's witnessed some of war's rawest moments. A survivor, he is guided in all things by his unfailing loyalty and honesty. But a tragic altercation in Minnesota's North Woods that leaves a young man dead and suspicions of murder hanging in the air tests Harry's courage as never before. Nothing could have prepared him for the eerie silence


Harry Griffin is a loner who's witnessed some of war's rawest moments. A survivor, he is guided in all things by his unfailing loyalty and honesty. But a tragic altercation in Minnesota's North Woods that leaves a young man dead and suspicions of murder hanging in the air tests Harry's courage as never before. Nothing could have prepared him for the eerie silence that has fallen over the incident, the challenge to his nerve, and the raw carnality of his best friend's wife.

Digging for answers in a town ready to lash out in fear of the dark secrets he is moving ever closer to, Harry ignores the signs of danger at his own peril. Until it all ignites in a fire of unexpected betrayal and a bloody settling of accounts.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Harry Griffin is a Vietnam veteran, recovering alcoholic, and graphic artist for a St. Paul, Minnesota, newspaper. His old friend Bud Maston invites him to a rural lodge for a hunting trip, and Griffin reluctantly accepts. Within 24 hours, Griffin has a passionate coupling with Maston's beautiful but sinister new wife, Jesse, kills Jesse's grown son Chris to prevent Chris from killing Maston, and has a drink for the first time in a decade. Logan's first novel charts Griffin's investigation into Chris's life and the seamy, convoluted events leading up to his accidental death. Although a bit too long, this suspense novel moves at a brisk pace and has well-drawn characters and landscapes. For large fiction collections.-A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Joe Collins
A first novel by a former Vietnam vet predictably will feature a hero who is also a vet; however, this fast-paced, violent thriller set in small-town and rural Minnesota also features two other characters who spent time in Nam. The main character is Harry Griffin, a dried-out journalist helping fellow alcoholic pal Bud Maston through a tough time. Against his better judgment, Harry accompanies Bud on an ill-conceived deer-hunting trip; along the way, he meets Bud's new wife, the sensual Jesse (who immediately tempts Harry), and her two troubled teenage children. A tragic shooting occurs on the trip, and the intrigue in a town full of secrets shifts into full throttle, endangering Harry's life. Logan's characters all have skeletons in the closet; blend in a dose of Hemingway-style macho, Ojibwa Indian mystery, and the 12-step philosophy, and Logan sends the whole mixture careening toward a thrilling--if unlikely--ending. Nonetheless, a rousing, edgy first novel with a twist on the typical troubled Viet-vet story that is most satisfying.

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The Big Law

December 11; 11:33 a.m.

The box came in the UPS morning delivery at the rear entrance of the Warren E. Burger Federal Building at the corner of Kellogg and Robert, in downtown St. Paul. It measured eighteen inches by sixteen inches, and was six inches deep. It weighed about twelve pounds. A red label slapped diagonal to the address announced: CONTENTS REFRIGERATED. A retired cop in a security company blazer manned the guard station. He placed the box on the X-ray machine belt.

First, the label caught his attention.

Then the quilt of mismatched stamps. And the address: "For FBI Special Agent Lorn Garrison"--like real personal. And the office number of a federal and local joint task force investigating narcotics traffic in the county; it was an office number not given out to the public. Very alert now, he ran the box and focused on his video monitor.

He was trained to look for five objects inside packages: detonators, power sources, switches, chemicals, and wires that connected them.

He saw shapes in the monitor screen that could be all five. He stopped the conveyor, picked up his phone, and alerted the main security office. In a calm forceful voice, he ordered everyone in the immediate area to exit the building.

People spilled into the intersection of Jackson and Fourth Streets, among them a supervisor in the IRS offices. He'd heard someone at the guard station say the word bomb. So he called his office on his cell phone and said, "I think there's a bomb." Other office workers lined up to use his cell phone and notify their offices.

In sixty seconds thestairwells thundered with people whose imaginations thundered with visions of Oklahoma City. There was still no official order to evacuate. Hundreds of federal employees were now out stamping in the cold on Jackson, Fourth, and Robert Streets and on Kellogg Boulevard.

A photographer for the St. Paul paper, returning from an assignment, drove down Fourth Street, got stuck in a crowd of people milling in the intersection of Fourth and Robert, and asked what was going on.

"There's a bomb scare."

The photographer called his photo desk and omitted the word scare. Then he left his car in the middle of the street and jockeyed for a good shooting position. He conjured an image of the building perfectly captured at the precise moment it collapsed. He saw it in his mind's eye and also on the covers of Time and Newsweek. With equal clarity, he saw his photo credit. Only one thing bothered him. The cruddy overcast day had wet cement for light. He loved to light and pose everything just so. How do you pose a building?

All over downtown, phones and pagers buzzed. Fire trucks rolled. Police barricades went up.

At 11:40 the FBI office at the building formally requested the St. Paul Police Department's bomb squad to investigate a suspicious package. They checked the switchboard and the mail room. There had been no bomb threats. They held back on the order to evacuate.

The city did not have a dedicated bomb unit, but in fifteen minutes, two pickup squad members arrived in the white "ice cream truck" with their bomb disposal wagon in tow. At twelve noon they took control of the site. After confirming that everyone was out of the rear entry area, one cop remotely toggled a wheeled robot down the truck ramp. The other cop Velcroed on ninety pounds of Kevlar navy blue armor, inserted a thick steel chest plate in the suit's breast pocket, pulled on a sloped visored helmet, activated the internal cooling system, struggled into a pair of cumbersome mittens, and clanked through the door.

If this was the big one, the suit would maybe allow the coroner to have an intact corpse to poke. The guy wearing the suit knew this.

He approached the X-ray machine and made a visual inspection. Two shadows on the video screen caught his attention. The detonator cap was inert, missing a portion, and the connecting wires were, in the lingo of his dark trade, "shunted," meaning crossed. Not an open circuit.

In case the bomb squad was having a bad day, the creator of the apparatus had stuck thin lead foil strips on the "explosive" bundle to painstakingly spell out: SMILE IF YOU EAT SHIT.

"Bomb hoax," the bomb tech radioed his partner.

But, following procedure, and just in case, they remotely disrupted the package. The man in the suit used a sixteen-foot pole with a pincer to move it off the X-ray machine and place it on the floor. Then they toggled in the robot and blew the box apart using a twelve-gauge water cannon on the robot's arm.

After the robot's video camera inspected the debris, the man in the suit went in again, made a visual sweep, and issued an official all clear. He paused in the doorway and removed his helmet. A knot of fast-moving men left the police cordon and approached him.

Perusing the stern faces and spit-shined wing tips, the bomb cop queried, "You FBI?" The agents nodded. "Who's Lorn Garrison?" he asked.

"I'm Garrison," said a tall, saturnine senior guy. Maybe fifty-five.

The bomb cop handed Garrison a sopping wet portion of cardboard with the address on it. Expressionless, he said, "You've got mail."

Garrison peered through the door at the scattered box. A white cloud seeped from some of the debris.

Garrison sniffed. "Is that smoke?"

The bomb cop shook his head. "Vapor. It's safe--physically. I don't know about psychologically."

The agents exchanged glances. Going in, Garrison tapped his finger on the typed return address on the crumpled wet cardboard that bore a St. Paul postmark, dated yesterday:

Alex Gorski
3173 Harriet Place
St. Paul

The Big Law. Copyright © by Chuck Logan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Chuck Logan is the author of eight novels, including After the Rain, Vapor Trail, Absolute Zero, and The Big Law. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War who lives in Stillwater, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter.

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Hunter's Moon 2.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a story about all of us; we're all in it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too heavy & too difficult to get thru it, got as far as chapter 9 but still couldn't get interested. I hope this was a free book, then I won't be upset. GJRA
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At least 6 pages missing from Nook version and I'm not done (trying to) read this one.