Stumbled by grief and seeking consolation, Medora contacts nature writer and wolf expert Russell Core.Read more...
Stumbled by grief and seeking consolation, Medora contacts nature writer and wolf expert Russell Core. Sixty years old, ailing in both body and spirit, and estranged from his daughter and wife, Core arrives in Keelut to investigate the killings. Immersing himself in this settlement at the end of the world, he discovers the horrifying darkness at the heart of Medora Slone and learns of an unholy truth harbored by this village.
When Vernon Slone returns from a desert war to discover his son dead and his wife missing, he begins a methodical pursuit across this frozen landscape. Aided by his boyhood companion, the taciturn and deadly Cheeon, and pursued by the stalwart detective Donald Marium, Slone is without mercy, cutting a bloody swath through the wilderness of his homeland. As Russell Core attempts to rescue Medora from her husband's vengeance, he comes face to face with an unspeakable secret at the furthermost reaches of American soil--a secret about the unkillable bonds of family, and the untamed animal in the soul of every human being.
An Alaskan Oresteia, an epic woven of both blood and myth, Hold the Dark recalls the hyperborean climate and tribalism of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone and the primeval violence of James Dickey's Deliverance.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-07-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Giraldi makes a dark departure from his rollicking debut, Busy Monsters, with this tale of vengeance, which tracks an aggrieved man through the back country of Alaska. The novel starts out slow—and strange. Children are disappearing from the village of Keelut; locals think wolves are to blame. But when wolf expert Russell Core shows up to investigate, he makes a discovery: the body of the latest victim, Bailey Slone, strangled, and the boy’s mother, Medora, missing from the scene. Vernon, Bailey’s father, returns to town from military service overseas and goes on a maniacal rampage, brutally stabbing or shooting every cop and townsperson he encounters during his search for Medora. His boyhood friend Cheeon, a grizzled hunter even more dangerous than Vernon, joins him for part of the spree. Unfortunately, when the reason for Bailey’s murder is finally disclosed, the big reveal feels more like a delayed gimmick than a genuine surprise. Still, if Giraldi set out to write an eerie portrait of depraved behavior set in the boonies, he certainly hit his target. Agent: David Patterson, Foundry Media. (Sept.)