For Fans Of
A 15-year-old first-time hunter and her father go missing on the first day of hunting season: a
wilderness guide whose only hope until now has been the ghost of his late wife, a wilderness hunt,
an abandoned mine, a struggle to survive, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and a daring escape attempt
with a killer giving chase.
5.0 out of 5 starsReminds me of David Morrell's FIrst Blood & James Dickey's Deliverance - Great read.
March 29, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I first saw Winslow: The Lost Hunters – A Winslow Doyle Wilderness Mystery on Amazon, I was drawn by the cover, showing a man alone in the wilderness.
I read quite a bit but I’ve left many books I’ve bought unfinished because at some point, early or later on, I’ve lost interest in the story, or trust in the author. But from the first sentence of David F. Curran’s book I knew he was a good writer.
“In the firelight from the wood stove the dogs rose, alerted by a sound at the door.”
Drawn in immediately, by page 3 I couldn’t put it down.
A month later, I read it again. Reading more slowly, enjoying it even more.
Even after reading it twice, I can’t make up my mind as to whether this book is a mystery, a thriller, or pure suspense. For me, I’ll say it’s all three including horrific crime. Still, that doesn’t completely capture the essence of this story, nor the depth of the main character, Winslow Doyle. Who I won’t be forgetting anytime soon, and only wish the next book in the series were available now.
Not only did the story engage me right away but there is something about the voice and mind of the main character Winslow that I found unusually appealing. He’s calm, intelligent, very knowledgeable of the wilderness he lives in (helped by the author having done the same himself), introspective, philosophical, reminding of the tenderness and toughness of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe without Marlowe's cynicism, and still deeply in love with his wife who died several years before saving her nephew from a bear. Doyle is also good with children, has two dogs, and has adopted a lost kitten, but at this time in his life he is still heavily burdened by grief and just getting by each day emotionally.
The story takes off when a woman and her 9 year old boy show up at Winslow’s remote cabin asking for help. Her husband and the boy’s father left several days ago to take his 15 year old daughter into the wilderness for the day to hunt her first deer, but after several days they haven’t returned.
Given how many hours have passed, and that Winslow’s instincts tell him this is a loving family, the prospects can only be grim. Deputized, Winslow begins his search for them and soon finds a trail of blood.
The colorful characters, no stereotypes here, range in age from 9 years to what I’m guessing is someone 8o something. The two 9 year olds play key roles in the story, the 15 year old Cassie is bright and resourceful, 20 somethings enable the hunt with tec, and the oldest member of the cast is as resourceful and able as anyone else, and also wise, stubborn, armed, and actively contributes to the compelling ending. The bad guys are a mix of evil, stupid, and lost. All unforgettable. Differing in backgrounds, intelligence, and emotional complexity that continues to develop throughout the story. The landscape is a strong character as well, with Winslow’s keen and detailed observations made me feel I was there every step of the way. And given that I love forest I enjoyed that quite a bit. The details in the story made me feel l was reading a true story at times with all the unexpected twists and turns life can take in the hands of a skilled author.
If you like stories like David Morrell’s First Blood, and James Dickey’s Deliverance, I believe you’ll find David Curran’s The Lost Hunters – A Winslow Doyle Mystery a great read.