Rice Moore is just beginning to think his troubles are behind him. Hes found a job protecting a remote forest preserve in Virginian Appalachia where his main responsibilities include tracking wildlife and refurbishing cabins.Its hard work, and totally solitaryperfect to hide away from the Mexican drug cartels he betrayed back in Arizona.But when Rice finds the carcass of a bear killed on the grounds, the quiet solitude hes so desperately sought is suddenly at risk.More bears are killed on the preserve and Rices obsession with catching the poachers escalates, leading to hostile altercations with the locals and attention from both the law and Rices employers. Partnering with his predecessor, a scientist who hopes to continue her research on the preserve, Rice puts into motion a plan that could expose the poachers but risks revealing his own whereabouts to the dangerous people he was running from in the first place.James McLaughlin expertly brings the beauty and danger of Appalachia to life.The result is an elemental, slow burn of a novelone that will haunt you long after you turn the final page....
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Bearskin by James A. McLauglin
Rice Monroe is the caretaker at a privately funded nature preserve in the Virginia Appalachian mountains. He is taking over the job previously held by a Virginia Tech biology professor, Sara Birkeland. Rice has changed his name, and wants to remain below the radar because of his recent incarceration in Arizona. He was caught trafficking unlawful substances between Mexico and the US. The drug cartel tried unsuccessfully to silence him in his cell to prevent him from ...more
Bearskin is not a typical action filled thriller. It is a beautifully written literary adventure set in a pristine area of Appalachian Virginia. The action, while slow at times, builds into something powerful and intense by the end. Rice Moore is trying to get his life back together after a vicious run in with the Sinaloa Mexican cartel. He is a biologist who cares deeply about the environment and the animals in his job as caretaker of a private Virginia nature reserve. Rice must figure out how ...more
McLaughlin’s novel is set in rural Appalachian hills of Virginia and about illegal bear poaching. It’s one of a new batch of ‘eco-thrillers’ that seem to be marketed for this summer of reading, let’s hope it doesn’t become a new genre. Last week I read Soil by Jamie Kornegay , just slightly better, but still falling into the same traps as this.
Let me state clearly that I am a passionate environmentalist, and support pretty much anything that helps educate our society to look after our world be ...more
This is not quite what I'd expected.
It's a genre blend of drug cartel thriller, Appalachian grit-lit with some paranormal/folkloric realism, and redemption tale but it's not mixed so well as to create a single, seamless story; there are definite chunks of genre floating throughout. Choking hazards abound.
Rice Moore/Rick Morton, 34, is on the run from Mexican drug cartels and is hiding as a caretaker for a large private preserve in the backwoods of Virginia.
The woman who was there before him, a ...more
A debut book. The storyline contained a great idea for a book. Rice worked for one of the Mexican cartels, turned on the cartel and staged his own disappearance to a remote game preserve to save himself. He finds peace in the preserve but that is interrupted when poachers begin killing bears.
Now, that is a simplified summary of the book, far more complex and yes, there is violence which is what I wanted. I wanted something like 'Sicario' to happen with the poachers! Some did, yes, but also a lot ...more
My review for this book was published in the Feb. 15, 2018, edition of Library Journal:
On the lam from a drug cartel after they killed his girlfriend, biologist Rice Moore has gone off the grid in Virginia, finding work as a caretaker at the secluded Turk Mountain Preserve. The forest is off-limits to hunters, and Moore's primary job is to monitor the vast acreage for disturbances. It's lonely and exhausting work but exactly what Moore needs, until he discovers a bear carcass left behind by poac ...more
”The giant trees were like dormant gods, vibrating with something he couldn’t name, not quite sentience, each one different from the others, each telling its own centuries-long story. On the forest floor, chestnut logs dead since the blight had rotted into chest-high berms soft with thick mosses, whispering quietly. Something called out and he turned to face a looming tulip tree, gnarled and bent like an old man, hollowed out by rot, lightning, ancient fires.
His skin tingled.”
Rice Moore felt t ...more
this is a fine, meaty debut. it’s grit lit literary enough to drop words like “extispicy,” but gritty enough to include an anecdote* that made me, long leatherskinned against book violence, wince.
it takes place deep in the virginia part of the appalachians, where a man named rice moore has been working for six months, appreciating the seclusion of his new home:
No other human being lived within miles. Rice presided alone over seven thousand acres of private nature preserve: he wa...more