Detective Sunderson has fled troubles on the home front and bought himself a hunting cabin in a remote area of Michigan s Upper Peninsula. No sooner has he settled in than he realizes his new neighbors are creating even more havoc than the Great Leader did. A family of outlaws, armed to the teeth, the Ameses have local law enforcement too intimidated to take them on. Then Sunderson s cleaning lady, a comely young Ames woman, is murdered, and black sheep brother Lemuel Ames seeks Sunderson s advice on a crime novel he s writing which may not be fiction. Sunderson must struggle with the evil within himself and the far greater, more expansive evil of his neighbor.
In a story shot through with wit, bedlam, and Sunderson s attempts to enumerate and master the seven deadly sins, "The Big Seven" is a superb reminder of why Jim Harrison is one of America s most irrepressible writers.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-12-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Retired detective Simon Sunderson returns in the latest from Harrison (after The Great Leader), which the author describes as a “faux mystery.” This time Sunderson is investigating a series of homicides near his newly purchased fishing cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The victims are all members of the Ames clan, a nefarious backwoods family, and the first act of violence strikes down Lily, Sunderson’s housekeeper. After entangling himself intellectually with aspiring writer Lemuel Ames and physically with 19-year-old Monica Ames, Sunderson devotes himself to tracking down the culprits, all the while suspecting his beautiful paramour to be behind the crimes. Characters from the detective’s previous adventure return, including sidekick Mona, who assists Sunderson by scraping together information on the Ameses, and Diane, the ex-wife he still fancies. The novel takes its time finding its story, with characters introduced early who never reappear, and at one point, Harrison halts his hero’s investigation with a long vacation to Mexico. This wandering can frustrate, as can the hillbilly stereotypes and Sunderson’s obsession with female posteriors. But when our hero is neck deep in his quest for justice, snooping while also considering the seven deadly sins (hence the title), Harrison proves once again that he is an inimitable, inexhaustible talent. Agent: Steve Sheppard, Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard. (Feb.)